Photo: Jennifer Davick
Pecans are a wonderful fall ingredient, whether in a tasty pecan pie or in a sweet praline. But we have created new recipes to use pecans for all courses from appetizers all the way to dessert.
Easy Pecan Recipes
1) Pecan-Cheese Crisps
Preheat oven to 400°. Stir together 1 1⁄2 cups (6 oz.) freshly shredded Parmesan cheese and 3⁄4 cup finely chopped toasted pecans in a small bowl. Spoon cheese mixture by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets, forming mounds. Flatten each into a 2-inch round, creating an even thickness. Bake 7 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool 15 minutes or until crisp. Store between layers of wax paper in an airtight container up to 3 days.
2) Spinach-Artichoke Dip
Preheat oven to 375°. Stir together 1 (14-oz.) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped; 1 (10-oz.) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained; 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened; 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese; 1 cup chopped toasted pecans; 1⁄2 cup each sour cream and mayonnaise; 2 garlic cloves, pressed; and 1⁄2 tsp. ground red pepper in a medium bowl. Spoon spinach mixture into a shallow 1 1⁄2-qt. baking dish; top with an additional 1⁄2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until golden. Serve with pita chips.
3) Honey-Pecan Butterscotch Sauce
Bring 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar, 1⁄2 cup butter, 1⁄4 cup milk, and 1⁄4 cup honey to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly; boil, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and cool 30 minutes. Stir in 3⁄4 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans. Serve over hot apple pie topped with vanilla ice cream.
4) Jalapeño-Pecan Mustard Butter
Stir together 1 cup softened butter; 1⁄3 cup finely chopped toasted pecans; 2 Tbsp. minced red onion; 3 Tbsp. Creole mustard; 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced; and 1 garlic clove, pressed, in a small bowl. Spread on hot biscuits filled with ham or on a grilled flank steak sandwich, toss with oven-roasted new potatoes, or stir into hot cooked stone-ground grits. Store, covered, in refrigerator up to 1 week.
5) Pecan Quesadilla
Sprinkle 1 side of 1 (8-inch) soft taco-size flour tortilla with 1⁄3 cup (1 1⁄2 oz.) shredded Havarti cheese and 2 Tbsp. chopped toasted pecans. Fold in half over filling. Cook quesadilla in a lightly greased skillet over medium-high heat 2 minutes on each side or until cheese melts and tortilla is golden brown. Cut into wedges, and serve with pear preserves.
6) Pecan-Chutney Cheese Spread
Process 2 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened; 1 (9-oz.) jar mango chutney; 1 Tbsp. curry powder; and 1⁄2 tsp. dry mustard in a food processor until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Stir in 1⁄4 cup minced green onions and 1 cup each finely chopped toasted pecans and toasted sweetened flaked coconut. Transfer to a large bowl; cover and chill 24 hours. Shape cheese mixture into 2 (6-inch) logs. Stir together 1 cup chopped toasted pecans and 1⁄2 cup chopped fresh parsley in a shallow dish; roll logs in pecan mixture. Serve with gingersnaps, sliced Gala apples and Bartlett pears, and assorted crackers.
7) Pecan-Crusted Tilapia
Process 1⁄2 cup pecan halves in a food processor until finely chopped. Sprinkle 4 (6-oz.) tilapia fillets with 1 1⁄2 tsp. seasoned salt and 1⁄2 tsp. freshly ground pepper. Dredge fish in finely chopped pecans. Melt 3 Tbsp. butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add fish, and cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until well browned and fish flakes with a fork. Serve with lemon wedges.
8) Pecan Clusters
Preheat oven to 300°. Toss 3 cups coarsely chopped pecans with 3 Tbsp. melted butter; spread in a 15- x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. Bake 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Microwave 6 (2-oz.) chocolate candy coating squares in a 1-qt. microwave-safe glass bowl at MEDIUM (50% power) 2 to 3 minutes or until melted. Stir in pecans and 1 1⁄2 cups chopped chocolate-coated caramels. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto wax paper; let stand 30 minutes or until chocolate hardens. Note: We tested with Rolo Chewy Caramels in Milk Chocolate.
9) Bacon-Wrapped Figs
Preheat oven to 350°. Stir together 1 (4-oz.) goat cheese log, softened, and 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil. Cut 6 large fresh figs in half lengthwise. Place 1 heaping teaspoonful goat cheese mixture and 1 toasted pecan half on cut side of each fig half. Wrap 1 ready-to-serve bacon slice around each fig half, and secure with a wooden pick. Place figs on a wire rack in a 15- x 10-inch jelly-roll pan, and bake 6 to 8 minutes or until bacon is crisp and browned. Note: We tested with Oscar Mayer Fully Cooked Bacon.