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Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Pecans

6 medium (about 2 pounds) sweet potatoes
2 eggs
2 tablespoons barley malt syrup
2 tablespoons margarine or unsalted butter; melted
Pinch of sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons honey
½ cup Pecan Valley Pecan Halves

1. Preheat oven to 425ºF.
2. Bake sweet potatoes until tender, about 45 to 60 minutes. Remove and discard skin.
3. Reduce oven temperature to 375ºF.
4. Mash potatoes and beat in eggs, syrup, one tablespoon margarine, sea salt and cinnamon. Add enough orange juice to moisten and make fluffy. Spoon into a 1½ quart baking dish and drizzle with honey and remaining one tablespoon margarine. Sprinkle with pecans
5. Bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes. Serve warm.

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Orange Pecan Couscous

1 tablespoon oil
1 cup coarsely Pecan Valley Pecan Pieces
1 onion; chopped
2 cups orange juice
3 cinnamon sticks
5 cloves, whole
1 pinch turmeric
1 pinch ground red pepper
¼ teaspoon sea salt
2 cups couscous
½ cup raisins (more if desired)

1. Heat oil in a large skillet and cook pecans until lightly toasted. Add onions and cook until soft.
2. Add orange juice, cinnamon sticks, cloves, turmeric, red pepper and sea salt and bring to a boil. Quickly stir in couscous and raisins, then cover and turn off heat.
3. Let stand 5 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed completely. Fluff with a fork before serving.

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Pecan Corn Bread Stuffing

2 cup corn bread crumbs
½ cup Pecan Valley Pecan Pieces
½ cup finely chopped onion
½ cup chopped celery
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
½ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ cup water or chicken broth

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. In a large mixing bowl mix corn bread crumbs pecans, onion, celery, parsley flakes, thyme and water or chicken together.
3. Stuff into poultry or transfer to a lightly oiled casserole.
4. Bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes if not used as a stuffing.

Stuff 2 Cornish hens or 3 pounds chicken.

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Pecan Rice Mélange

¾ cups wild rice
4½ cups chicken broth; divided
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup long grain rice
¾ cups toasted Pecan Valley Pecan Pieces
½ cup chopped parsley

1. Rinse wild rice. Combine wild rice with 2½ cups chicken broth, heat to boiling. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes.
2. Drain excess broth, set aside.
3. Heat remaining 2 cups broth and butter to boiling. Add long grain rice, reduce heat, and simmer covered 15 minutes.
4. In a large mixing bowl combine brown rice with the white rice. Toss with parsley and pecans

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Pecan Rice Pilaf

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large shallot, minced
⅓ cup wild rice
1¼ cups water
½ cup long-grain white rice
¾ cups beef stock
¼ cup dry white wine
1 small bay leaf
1 dash hot pepper sauce
½ cup frozen peas, thawed
2 tablespoons parsley; chopped
¼ cup Pecan Valley Pecan Halves; toasted*
1 teaspoon mint; chopped

1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot; cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the wild rice and the water, and heat to boiling. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes
2. Add the white rice, beef stock, wine, bay leaf, and hot pepper sauce to the wild rice. Heat to boiling, and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer, covered, until both rices are tender and almost all the liquid has been absorbed, about 25 minutes.
3. Discard the bay leaf. Stir the peas into the rice mixture; cook, covered, for 5 minutes more. Remove the cover and raise the heat slightly if the mixture is too wet.
4. Add the parsley and pecan, and sprinkle with mint, if desired.

Note: To toast the pecans, heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the pecans and toast until golden, stirring frequently, for 6 to 8 minutes.

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Pecan Risotto with Caramelized Onions and Smoked Gouda Cheese

1 tablespoon butter
1 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 Wild Rice Pilaf

4 cups chicken broth
1 cup wild rice, rinsed well
1¾ cups wheat pilaf
1 cup Pecan Valley Pecan Halves
1 cup currants, dried
1 bunch scallions; thinly sliced
½ cup Italian parsley; chopped
½ cup fresh mint leaves; chopped
Zest of 2 oranges; grated
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon orange juice
Freshly ground black pepper

1. In a medium saucepan, bring broth to a boil. Add wild rice to boiling broth. Bring back to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and cook, covered, for 50 minutes or until rice is tender. Do not overcook. Remove to a large bowl.
2. While the rice is cooking, in another saucepan bring about 2¼ cups water to a boil. Stir in the pilaf, cover and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 15 minutes, or until pilaf is tender.
3. Remove from heat, let rest 15 minutes, and add to the (cooked) wild rice. Add remaining ingredients and toss well. Serve at room temperature.

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Pecan-Cornbread Stuffing

6 cup cornbread dried and cubed
½ cup basmati rice uncooked
¾ cup onion coarse chopped
1 cup Pecan Valley Pecan Pieces
1 cup oysters raw and chopped
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
1½ tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sage ground
2 garlic cloves minced
¼ pounds unsalted butter
4 cup water

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. Mix bread, water, and soy sauce together until all water is absorbed. Melt butter and add to mixture.
3. Blend in pecans, onions, oysters, garlic, pepper, sea salt, sage, and rice. Put into a large casserole.
4. Bake in a preheated oven for 1 hour 20 minutes. Or use most of this to stuff a large turkey.

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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
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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Steamed Vegetables with Basil Pecan Pesto

6 medium carrots; cut diagonally into ⅛-inch-thick slices
2 fennel bulbs; trimmed and cut lengthwise into ⅛-inch-thick slices
1½ pounds small red potatoes; cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
1½ pounds green beans; trimmed
3 to 4 tablespoons hot water
1¼ cups Basil Pecan Pesto

1. On a large steamer rack layer carrots, then fennel, and then potatoes and steam over boiling water, covered, until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer steamed vegetables to a platter.
2. Steam beans, covered, until just tender, about 10 minutes, and transfer to a platter.
3. Serve vegetables warm at room temperature with Basil Pecan Pesto.

Basil Pecan Pesto
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves; washed well and spun dry
⅔ cups olive oil
½ cup Pecan Valley Pecan Pieces; toasted golden brown and cooled
⅓ cup freshly grated parmesan
2 large garlic cloves; chopped and mashed to a paste with
½ teaspoon sea salt

1. In a food processor blend together all ingredients with sea salt and pepper to taste until smooth.
2. Pesto keeps, surface covered with plastic wrap, chilled, 1 week.

Makes about 1¼ cups

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