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Basil-Pecan Cream Cheese

1 8-ounce package cream cheese; softened
¼ cup butter; softened
½ cup snipped fresh basil
¼ cup Pecan Valley Pecan Pieces
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 clove garlic; minced
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
¼ teaspoon sea salt
⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. In a medium mixing bowl beat cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.
2. Stir in basil, pecans, vinegar, garlic, red pepper, salt and black pepper until well combined.
3. Serve immediately or cover and chill up to 3 days

Makes 1½ cups

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Pecan and Gorgonzola-Coated Grapes

1 cup Pecan Valley Pecan Pieces; finely chopped
6 ounces Gorgonzola cheese (can also use Cambozola); crumbled
4 ounces cream cheese
20 seedless red grapes

1. Preheat oven to 325ºF.
2. On a cookie sheet, spread out the chopped pecans and toast for five minutes. Remove and allow to cool.
3. Using a wooden spoon (or electric mixer), cream together the Gorgonzola and cream cheeses.
4. Put 1 tablespoon of the cheese mixture in the palm of your hand; imbed one grape in this mixture, shaping the mixture around the grape to coat. Then roll the covered grape in the finely chopped pecans before placing on a serving tray. Chill for 30 minutes until coating is firm. If grapes are large, use a sharp knife to cut into halves.

Serves 5

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Pecan Cheddar Crisps

½ cup unsalted butter or margarine; softened
½ cup cheddar cheese; finely shredded
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ cup Pecan Valley Pecan Halves

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and cheese.
3. Combine flour, paprika and sea salt; add to creamed mixture. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on un-greased baking sheet. Top each with a pecan; press down to flatten.
4. Bake in a preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.
5. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Yield: about 2 dozen

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Pecan Cheese Crisps

⅞ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon dry mustard
½ cup unsalted butter
2 cups shredded strong cheddar cheese
½ cup Pecan Valley Pecan Pieces
½ teaspoon baking powder

1. Sift together flour, baking powder, mustard and pepper. Set aside.
2. Cream margarine; gradually blend in cheese and nuts. Add flour mixture slowly until blended. Divide dough in half, make rolls 1½” in diameter, wrap in foil, chill.
3. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
4. Slice each roll into very thin slices. Arrange on greased cookie sheets.
5. Bake in a preheated oven for 6 minutes. Cool immediately on wire racks.

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Pecan Cheese Salad

2 tablespoon Knox gelatin
¼ cup cold water
1 large pineapple in chunks; drained (reserve ½ cup juice)
1 cup celery; sliced thin
1 cup Pecan Valley Pecan Pieces
2 cups cottage cheese
1 cup whipped cream
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup sugar
1 cup mini marshmallows
Juice of 1 lemon

1. Dissolve Knox gelatin in cold water. Add ½ cup pineapple juice which has been heated.
2. In a large mixing bowl mix pineapple chunks, celery, pecans, cottage cheese, whipped cream, sour cream, mayonnaise, sugar, marshmallows and lemon juice together.
3. Add gelatin mixture. Mix well. Pour into container of choice. Chill until set.

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Pecan Four Cheese Pizza

1 12-inch prepared pizza crust
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large onions; sliced
3 tablespoons goat cheese; softened
3 tablespoon cream cheese; softened
½ cup Feta cheese; crumbled
1 cup mozzarella cheese; shredded
Chopped parsley for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 450ºF.
2. Place pizza crust on cookie sheet. In frying pan, heat oil. Add onions and cook slowly until caramelized, about 20 minutes.
3. Cool slightly. Mix the goat and cream cheese together and spread on crust; spread the cooked onions over the cheese. Sprinkle the feta and mozzarella cheeses over the onions; top with the pecan pieces.
4. Bake in a preheated oven for about 5 minutes or until cheeses melt. Sprinkle parsley over top before serving. Cut into 6 wedges to serve.

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Pecan Risotto with Caramelized Onions and Smoked Gouda Cheese

1 tablespoon butter1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion; sliced
1 cup Arborio rice
2 quarts chicken stock; heated
1 cup smoked gouda cheese; shredded
2 tablespoons Italian parsley; chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat saucepan on medium heat and add butter and oil. Add onion and slowly caramelize the onion, stirring constantly until medium brown. Increase heat to medium-high. Stir in rice and sauté 1 minute.
2. Add 2 cups of stock and stir constantly. Add stock ½ cup at a time stirring constantly until rice has absorbed the liquid. Continue stirring and adding stock until rice is tender but firm and mixture is creamy, about 20 minutes.
3. Add toasted pecans, parsley, cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately with grilled chicken, fish or roasted meat.

Serves 8

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Pecan Stuffed Eggs

6 eggs; hard-cooked
¼ cup mayonnaise
½ cup Pecan Valley Pecan Pieces
1 tablespoon onion; grated
1 tablespoon vinegar
½ teaspoon dry mustard
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon parsley; minced
Fresh parsley sprigs

1. Slice eggs in half length. Carefully remove yolks.
2. Mash yolks with a fork; add mayonnaise, pecans, onion, vinegar, dry mustard, sea salt and parsley, mixing well.
3. Spoon pecan mixture into egg whites. Garnish with parsley sprigs, if desired.

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Pesto Green Beans and Tomatoes

1½ pounds fresh green beans
1 pint small tomatoes, such as red grape halved
¼ cup Pesto Vinaigrette
Salt and pepper

1. Cook green beans, covered, in a small amount of boiling salted water for 10 to 15 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and rinse under cool water. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.
2. In a large bowl, toss green beans and tomatoes with pesto vinaigrette. Add additional pesto vinaigrette, if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or chill in the refrigerator up to 8 hours.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Pesto Vinaigrette
½ cup Texas Basil Pesto
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and ground white pepper

1. In a bowl combine pesto, vinegar and lemon juice.
2. Slowly add olive oil in a thin stream, whisking until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate up to 3 days.

Makes about ¾ cups

Texas Basil Pesto
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1½ cups fresh baby spinach; stems removed
¾ cups fresh basil leaves
½ cup Pecan Valley Pecan Pieces
6 ounces Asiago cheese, grated
3 large cloves garlic, peeled and quartered

To Prepare In a Food Processor

1. Combine 2 tablespoons of the oil, the spinach, basil, pecans, cheese and garlic. Cover and process until nearly smooth, stopping processor and scrapping sides as necessary.
2. Drizzle in remaining olive oil until mixture is smooth.

To Prepare In a Blender

1. Coarsely chop spinach, basil, pecans and garlic on a cutting board, in a blender combine all ingredients.
2. Cover and blend until mixture is smooth.

To Store

1. Place pesto in an airtight container. Cover and refrigerate for 1 or 2 days of freeze up to 1 month

Makes about 1¾ cups

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Share Your Favorite Pecan Recipes

We’re looking for the best pecan recipes form your collection. All recipes must be original and the ingredients must include pecans. Each entry must be as a separate e-Mail (no attachments please). Include a complete list of ingredients, with the exact quantities in the order they are used. Specific directions (in paragraph form) should include cookware size (example: 10-inch pie pan), cooking time and temperature, and number of servings. By submitting your recipe, you grant us the right to edit and publish the recipe.

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