Pecans are a staple to our state, with Georgia producing 88 million pounds of pecans a year. That's the most in the nation! We had Melanie Harris -- a Georgia Pecans Commission spokesperson and Georgia native -- to talk about some great ideas for holiday dishes. You can get all their recipes at GeorgiaPecans.Org.
Here are the recipes shown on 41 Today (with a link to each recipe):
1) Georgia Pecan Pesto Pizza:
Makes 2 individual pizzas or cut into small wedges for appetizers. Delicious as an appetizer or served as an entree with salad.
1 package (2) prepared 7 inch pizza bread rounds1 (7-oz.) container prepared pesto sauce2/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese1 cup halved seedless red grapes1/4 cup Georgia pecan pieces
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
To assemble pizzas: top each pizza bread with 2 tablespoons of pesto sauce (drain oil from pesto if needed).
Next, divide cheese then grapes evenly on each pizza. Top each pizza with 1/8 cup pecan pieces. Bake directly on oven rack for 8-10 minutes.
2) Cranberry Georgia Pecan Chutney:
Makes about 6 half-pint jars
Prep time: 45 min., Cooking time: 50 min.
Pecans combine with cranberries, apples, raisins, lemons and onion in this delicious chutney that makes stunning gifts. Keep a few jars for yourself and serve alongside roasted turkey or combine with brie for a delicious appetizer.
1 pound fresh cranberries1 cup water2 cinnamon sticks1/2 teaspoon ground allspice1/8 teaspoon ground cloves1/2 teaspoon salt1 large unpeeled apple, diced1 cup white raisins or dried apricots, cut into quarters4 thin lemon slices, seeds removed and cut into quarters1-1/2 cups sugar1 cup chopped celery1/2 cup chopped sweet onion1/2 cup chopped Georgia pecans
Wash cranberries and place in a 3-quart saucepan with water, spices and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer briskly, uncovered, until cranberries pop. Remove from heat and stir in apple, raisins, lemon slices, sugar, celery and onion. Place pan back over medium heat and stir well. Cover and let simmer for 30 minutes. Remove cover and cook 15 minutes longer. Remove cinnamon sticks and stir in pecans. Let cool slightly, then transfer into clean jars, cover with lids and refrigerate.
Packaging tip: Place chutney in a pretty glass jar, tie a pretty cranberry-colored ribbon around the neck and attach a card with the recipe name for a lovely holiday gift.
3) Chutney and Brie Appetizer
This recipe is a variation of a Cherry and Georgia Pecan Brie appetizer available online. (http://www.georgiapecans.org/recipes/appetizers/item/cherry-georgia-pecan-brie)
The Cranberry and Georgia Pecan Chutney recipe above can be substituted to make this delicious appetizer.
Allow the Brie to rest at room temperature for about 1 hour.
Shortly before serving, assemble the Brie: Using a long serrated knife, cut the Brie in half horizontally, separating the top from the bottom. Place the top to one side and cover the bottom layer with your Georgia Pecan Chutney.
Replace the top, and with the same knife, gently saw off the thin white rind of the top of the cheese. Spoon the remaining chutney on top and cover with remaining nuts. Serve at room temperature, accompanied by French bread. (Do not refrigerate—it will make the pecans soggy.
4) Georgia Pecan Granola
Makes 4-1/2 cups
Prep time: 10 min., Cooking time: 25 min.
This is so handy to have in the pantry. Sprinkle it on top of yogurt or cold cereal, or spoon some in a small plastic bag to tote to work as a snack.
1/3 cup vegetable oil1/3 cup honey4 cups old-fashioned oats1/4 cup wheat germ3/4 cup chopped Georgia pecans1/2 cup raisins
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with sides with aluminum foil.
Place the oil and honey in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the oats, wheat germ and pecans, stirring to coat ingredients well. Spread the mixture evenly over the prepared pan. Bake, stirring occasionally, for 20 – 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
Remove the pan from the oven. Stir in the raisins. Let granola cool on the pan for 1 hour. Transfer granola to an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to two weeks.