Creole Black Skillet Pistachios

Day PartSnack
Cuisine TypeAmerican
black skillet pistachios

Chef Tory McPhail
Commander's Palace
New Orleans

A hot cast-iron skillet, unshelled pistachios and an assortment of seasonings are the essentials for this quick-cooking Mardi Gras snack. The combination of Creole spice, bourbon, garlic and sugar infuses the nuts with authenticity. Chef Tory McPhail recommends eating the pistachios as you would eat crawfish, by first tasting the shell to experience all the seasonings, then removing the shell to get to the crunchy nut inside.


2 tbsp. vegetable oil

2 tbsp. minced fresh garlic

2 tbsp. hot pepper sauce

2 tbsp. bourbon

1 lb. roasted, salted in-shell pistachios

1 tbsp. ground black pepper

2 tsp. Creole spice

2 tbsp. sugar


  1. Bring all premeasured ingredients close to the stove since this recipe takes only 30 seconds of cooking and goes very quickly. Place medium-sized cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat; heat for 3 minutes or until hot and starting to smoke.
  2. Add oil to hot skillet; swirl across bottom to coat. Add garlic; swirl until garlic starts to turn golden brown. Immediately add hot sauce and Worcestershire; shake to reduce. Pull skillet away from stove; deglaze with bourbon. Swirl while returning skillet to stove; light mixture with match to flambe.
  3. When sauce is reduced, add pistachios. Shake in black pepper, Creole spice and sugar, constantly tossing the pan to coat evenly. Immediately remove pistachios from skillet into a serving bowl so seasoning doesn’t become too dark and bitter.


Photo courtesy of American Pistachio Growers

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