Southern Staples- Pecan Recipes to try this Holiday Season

Southern Staples
Pecan Recipes to try this Holiday Season

By Cindy Coopwood with Photography by Rory Doyle

Party Cheese Ball with Pecans

This is best made the day before to allow the flavors to blend together.

8 ounces cream cheese
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 teaspoons grated onion
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons minced garlic
½ teaspoon salt
several dashes hot sauce, or to taste
2 cups finely chopped pecans

Combine cream cheese and cheddar cheese, blending well. Mix in onion, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic, salt and hot sauce if desired. Taste, and adjust seasonings. Chill in refrigerator, until firm enough to handle. Shape cheese into a ball and wrap tightly with a plastic wrap. Return to refrigerator for several hours (and up to 3 days) before serving.

When ready to serve, allow ball to sit out for and hour or two, then remove plastic wrap and roll the ball in the pecans until the entire outer surface is completely covered.  Serve with crackers.

Tangy Pecan Crusted Pork Tenderloin

The crunchy pecan coating elevates this simple cut of meat to another level—it’s definitely dinner-party worthy for the holidays.

1 1-pound pork tenderloin
¼ cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 garlic cloves minced
cup chopped pecans
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl combine sugar, mustard, salt, pepper and garlic; rub over pork. Roll pork in pecans. Place tenderloin on a foil-lined pan or a broiler-pan coated with cooking spray. Bake for 25 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160 degrees. Remove from oven; let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots with Pecans

Crunchy and sweet, the simple recipe is a perfect complement to holiday main dishes such as ham, turkey or roast.

1 tablespoon olive oil
6 cups diagonally sliced peeled carrots
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
1 cup packed brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1½ cups toasted pecan halves

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrots and cook, stirring frequently, about 4 minutes. Add sugar and ginger, stirring until sugar melts, about 2 minutes. Toss in pecans and cook until carrots are cooked to desired tenderness when pierced, and mixture is glazed in sugar, 3 to 5 minutes.

Olive-Pecan Finger Sandwiches

These party sandwiches are packed with flavor from the briny olives and have added crunch from the toasted pecans. If desired, alternate with different types of bread such as pumpernickel for presentation.

1 8-ounce package cream cheese softened
1 to 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
½ cup chopped pimiento-stuffed green olives
2 tablespoons finely chopped black olives
½ cup finely chopped pecans, toasted
12 slices thin whole wheat bread

Stir together first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and chill until ready to serve. When ready to assemble, stir mixture to help bring to a spreadable consistency. Spread on bread and assemble sandwiches. Trim crusts from sandwiches with a serrated knife; then cut each sandwich into thirds to make 3 sandwiches.