recipes

Meal Ideas 13 July 2021

Add Powerful Pairings to Your Plate

(Family Features) Joining loved ones at the family table is an important moment for many, both as a filling way to enjoy a meal and an emotionally satisfying way to catch up on all the day’s events. Make those moments count by combining nutritious ingredients and creating recipes that can quickly become favorites.

As part of the Powerful Pairings initiative – launched by the United Sorghum Checkoff Program, National Pork Board and USA Pulses – these recipes call for pulses, which include lentils, chickpeas dry peas, and beans; sorghum, similar to rice or quinoa filled with nutrients, texture and taste; and pork, rich in flavor, versatile and sustainable with nutritious qualities.

Combined, these three ingredients can work together in sweet and savory dishes alike, and they shine with a multitude of herbs, spices and sauces from around the world. A powerhouse nutritional trio, they include foods from the protein, vegetable and grain groups outlined in MyPlate, a template for balance, variety and moderation.

Plus, the taste and versatility of these ingredients make it easier to achieve more family meals, which promotes cohesion, communication and relationships, helping loved ones celebrate simple joys together and be more prepared for uncertainty and difficult life moments.

Find more information, resources and recipes at powerfulpairings.com.

Mediterranean Grain Bowl with Pork Skewers

Recipe courtesy of the United Sorghum Checkoff Program, National Pork Board and USA Pulses
Prep time: 45 minutes, plus 2 hours marinate time
Cook time: 75 minutes
Servings: 6 (1 pork skewer, 2/3 cup sorghum, 2 tablespoons hummus)

Red Lentil Hummus:

  • 1 1/3    cups water
  • 1/3       cup dried red lentils
  • 1          tablespoon olive oil
  • 1          tablespoon tahini
  • 1          tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2       teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2       teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon black pepper
  • 12        ounces pork loin roast, trimmed of fat
  • 4          tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2          teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1          teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1          teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1          teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon black pepper
  • 1          sweet onion, chopped
  • 3          cups no-salt-added chicken stock
  • 3/4       cup whole-grain sorghum, rinsed and drained
  • 1          cup canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed, drained and dried with paper towels
  • 1 1/2    cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1          cup arugula
  • 1          cup chopped cucumber
  • 2/3       cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2       cup kalamata olives
  1. To make Red Lentil Hummus: In small saucepan, combine water and dried red lentils; bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes, or until lentils split and become soft. Cool and transfer to food processor. Add olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, minced garlic, cumin, salt and black pepper; process 30-60 seconds, or until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Transfer to airtight container and store in refrigerator up to 5 days until serving time.
  2. Cut pork loin into 1-inch cubes. Place in re-sealable plastic bag set in shallow dish. In small bowl, combine 3 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, cumin, salt and black pepper. Pour half olive oil mixture over meat, reserving remaining half. Seal bag; turn to coat meat. Marinate in refrigerator 2 hours, turning bag occasionally.
  3. In medium saucepan, heat remaining olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, cook and stir 6-8 minutes, or until tender. Add stock and bring to boil. Add sorghum. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 45-60 minutes, or until sorghum is tender, stirring occasionally.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  5. Arrange chickpeas on foil-lined 15-by-10-by-1-inch baking pan. Drizzle with reserved olive oil mixture; toss to coat. Roast 20-30 minutes, or until chickpeas are toasted and crispy, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven and increase oven to 500 F.
  6. Drain meat, discarding marinade. Divide among six wooden or metal skewers. Arrange skewers on wire rack on baking sheet and bake 10 minutes, or until meat is slightly pink in center, turning once halfway through.
  7. To serve, divide cooked sorghum between six shallow bowls. Top with tomatoes, arugula, cucumber, feta cheese, olives, chickpeas and Red Lentil Hummus. Serve with pork skewers.

Nutritional information per serving: 505 calories; 28 g total fat (8 g saturated fat); 14 mg cholesterol; 528 mg sodium; 43 g total carbohydrates (8 g dietary fiber, 6 g sugars); 23 g protein; 1% vitamin D; 15% calcium; 19% iron; 16% potassium; 361 mg phosphorus (29%).

Sorghum Split Pea Soup

Recipe courtesy of the United Sorghum Checkoff Program, National Pork Board and USA Pulses
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
Servings: 6 (1 1/4 cup each)

  • 1 1/2    tablespoons olive oil
  • 1          onion, chopped
  • 3/4       cup sliced carrots
  • 3/4       cup sliced celery
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons minced garlic
  • 6          cups no-salt-added chicken stock
  • 1 1/4    cups green split peas
  • 1          small ham bone
  • 2/3       cup chopped ham
  • 2/3       cup pearled sorghum
  • 4          sprigs thyme
  • 2          bay leaves
  • 1 1/2    tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • chopped fresh thyme (optional)
  • cracked black pepper (optional)
  1. In 4-quart stock pot or large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic; season with salt and pepper, to taste, and cook, stirring occasionally, 10-12 minutes, or until onion is tender. Add chicken stock, split peas, ham bone, ham, sorghum, thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, 45-60 minutes, or until split peas are soft and sorghum is tender.
  2. Remove ham bone, thyme sprigs and bay leaves from soup. Remove ham from bone, chop ham and return to pot. Discard bone, thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Add Worcestershire sauce and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Garnish with chopped fresh thyme and cracked black pepper, if desired.

Nutritional information per serving: 336 calories; 8 g total fat (2 g saturated fat); 22 mg cholesterol; 573 mg sodium; 48 g total carbohydrates (12 g dietary fiber, 7 g sugars); 20 g protein; 3% vitamin D; 5% calcium; 17% iron; 19% potassium; 227 mg phosphorus (18%).

Lemon-Garlic Tenderloin with Warm Sorghum Salad

Recipe courtesy of the United Sorghum Checkoff Program, National Pork Board and USA Pulses
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 70 minutes
Servings: 6 (2 ounces pork, 3/4 cup sorghum salad)

  • 2          cups vegetable broth
  • 2          cups water
  • 1          cup whole-grain sorghum
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 1          tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1          tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon pepper
  • 1          pork tenderloin (16 ounces), trimmed of fat
  • 1          medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1          cup kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2       cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2       cup pecan halves
  1. Preheat oven to 425 F. In medium saucepan, combine vegetable broth and water. Bring to boil. Add sorghum. Reduce heat to simmer and cook, covered, 45-60 minutes, or until tender.
  2. In medium bowl, combine olive oil, garlic, parsley, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Drizzle half oil mixture on pork; rub in with fingers. Place pork in shallow roasting pan. Add sweet potatoes to bowl with remaining oil mixture. Toss to coat and set aside.
  3. Roast pork, uncovered, 10 minutes. Arrange sweet potatoes around pork and roast 15-20 minutes, or until pork reaches 145 F internal temperature and potatoes are tender. Remove pork from pan. Cover; let stand 10 minutes.
  4. Stir roasted sweet potatoes, beans, cranberries and pecan halves into cooked sorghum and heat through.
  5. Slice pork tenderloin and serve with warm sorghum salad.

Nutritional information per serving: 436 calories; 15 g total fat (2 g saturated fat); 55 mg cholesterol; 369 mg sodium; 55 g total carbohydrates (8 g dietary fiber, 16 g sugars); 25 g protein; 2% vitamin D; 6% calcium; 20% iron; 20% potassium; 377 mg phosphorus (30%).

Source: Powerful Pairings

Holiday 02 November 2020

Festive and Flavorful Holiday Snacks

(Family Features) The holidays are filled with delicious food - from indulgent breakfasts to decadent desserts - but snacks can get overlooked. Spice up this holiday season with festive snacks that are perfect for a quick on-the-go bite or a taste of your favorite holiday dessert.

Although beloved in pie, pecans are a versatile nut that can be used beyond the pie shell - add them to a snack mix, incorporate them into granola or munch on them straight from the bag. Delicious and nutritious, 1 ounce of pecans offers 3 grams of plant-based protein and 3 grams of fiber, plus 12 grams of "good" monounsaturated fats and only 2 grams of saturated fat - perfect to power you through long days of holiday shopping.

This holiday season, nosh on a handful of these spiced Gingerbread Pecans for a sweet and savory snack while decorating the house or wrapping presents late at night, or set out a bowl for the family to enjoy.

You can also make snack-sized versions of your favorite holiday desserts to have on-hand when you're craving a quick and tasty treat. Chopped pecans add a flavorful and nutrient-dense crunch to these paleo-friendly No-Bake Pumpkin Pecan Pie Bites, while pecan halves provide a festive touch to these Reindeer Pecan Brownies.

Discover more nutritious, delicious and festive recipes at AmericanPecan.com.

Reindeer Pecan Brownies

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Yield: 20 brownies

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon pecan or canola oil
  • 1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons, granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 20 raw pecan halves, cut in half
  • 40 candy eyeballs
  • 20 red chocolate candies
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chip
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray mini muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In large bowl, whisk melted butter, oil and sugar until well combined. Add eggs and vanilla extract; beat until mixture is thick and pale in color, about 1 minute.
  3. Sift in flour and cocoa powder. Add espresso powder, if desired, and salt. Using rubber spatula, fold dry ingredients into butter mixture until just combined. Batter should be thick.
  4. Using 1-tablespoon cookie scoop, transfer batter to prepared mini muffin tin. Bake 13-15 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out mostly clean, with some lingering crumbs.
  5. Add chocolate chips to heat-proof bowl; microwave until smooth and melted. Pour melted chocolate into sandwich bag and cut off small portion of one corner to use as tip. Use melted chocolate to "glue" on pecan antlers, candy eyeballs and red candy noses to brownies.
  6. Allow chocolate to set before transferring brownies to airtight container.

Note: Brownies will stay fresh for up to three days.

Gingerbread Pecans

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Yield: 2 cups (6 servings)

  • 1 large egg white, beaten
  • 2 cups raw pecan halves
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons gingerbread spice blend
  • 1 pinch salt
  1. Preheat oven to 300 F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. In large bowl, use fork to whisk beaten egg until frothy. Add pecans and stir until coated. Sprinkle pecans with granulated sugar, brown sugar, gingerbread spice and salt. Stir to coat evenly. Spread pecans in even layer on prepared baking sheet.
  3. Bake pecans 40 minutes, stirring halfway through. Allow pecans to cool completely.

Note: Pecans can be stored in airtight container for up to four days.

No-Bake Pumpkin Pecan Pie Bites

Prep time: 15 minutes
Chill time: 1 hour
Yield: 12 bites (6 servings)

Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups raw pecan pieces
  • 3/4 cup pitted medjool dates (about 7 dates), soaked in hot water 10 minutes
  • 1 pinch pink salt

Filling:

  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 pinch pink salt
  • 1 scoop collagen peptides (optional)
  • 12 raw pecan halves, for topping
  1. To make crust: In food processor, process pecan pieces, drained dates and salt until combined and "dough" starts to form into ball.
  2. To make filling: In bowl, combine pumpkin puree, coconut milk, pumpkin spice, maple syrup, pink salt and collagen peptides, if desired. Whisk until smooth.
  3. Line cupcake tin and evenly distribute crust mixture, about 1 1/2 tablespoons in each cupcake opening. Use fingers to press crust into even layer.
  4. Evenly disperse pumpkin pie filling among openings until tins are about half full.
  5. Top each with one pecan half and place in freezer at least one hour.

Source: American Pecan Council

Videos 21 September 2020

Maple Pecan Dessert Pancake

(Family Features) Breakfast for dinner may be a widely accepted practice for many families, but breakfast for dessert can be a new option for your loved ones when a sweet craving strikes.

This Maple Pecan Dessert Pancake from author and James Beard Award winner Ellie Krieger’s “Whole in One” is cooked in a skillet with a maple-sweetened egg batter and can be served warm or chilled. It feels like a homey, sweet pancake when served warm. Chilled, it becomes more of a flan-like tart with its custardy batter and caramelized sugars.

Visit milkmeansmore.org for more family dessert inspiration.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

Maple Pecan Dessert Pancake

Recipe courtesy of “Whole in One” by Ellie Krieger on behalf of Milk Means More
Servings: 8

  • 1          cup pecan pieces, divided
  • 4          large eggs
  • 1/3       cup whole milk
  • 1/4       cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4       cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1          pinch salt
  • 1          tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1          teaspoon confectioners’ sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. In small bowl of food processor, process 1/2 cup pecans until finely ground. Transfer to bowl. In processor, pulse remaining pecans to coarsely chop.
  2. In medium bowl, whisk eggs, milk, maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Stir in finely ground and coarsely chopped pecans.
  3. In 10-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-low heat, heat butter. Add batter to pan. Cook without stirring until edges begin to set, 5 minutes, then transfer to oven and bake until completely set and golden brown, 10 minutes. Pancake will puff up in oven then fall into place as it cools.
  4. Allow to cool in pan 10 minutes then sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and cut into eight wedges. Serve warm or chilled.

Source: Milk Means More

Meal Ideas 17 February 2020

Raspberry Goodness from Morning to Night

(Family Features) From breakfasts to salads, desserts and beyond, fruit is unique in its ability to add both flavor and nutrition to family-favorite dishes. As you look for ways to incorporate produce in your family’s recipes, consider an option with a sweet-tart flavor and eye-catching color: red raspberries.

In the cool, marine climate of the Pacific Northwest, Washington state produces approximately 90% of the nation’s frozen red raspberry crop. Picked at the peak of ripeness and frozen within hours of being harvested, flavor and nutrition are locked in to offer convenience and consistent quality out of the freezer section at most grocery stores, perfect for better-for-you desserts like Pecan-Topped Raspberry Cake and Red Raspberry Whole-Fruit Sorbet.

With a distinct flavor that works well in dishes from sweet to savory, red raspberries can add bright flavor and balance to recipes ranging from salads like Spinach and Frisee Salad with Raspberry Pickled Onions and Raspberry Vinaigrette to a morning meal such as this Raspberry Coconut Smoothie Bowl. Plus, 1 cup of the flavorful red fruit includes just 80 calories and contains 6 grams of fiber while providing 28% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant.

Find more recipes at redrazz.org

Raspberry Coconut Smoothie Bowl

Servings: 2

  • 2          cups frozen raspberries
  • 1          large frozen banana
  • 2/3       cup light coconut milk
  • 1          tablespoon chia seeds

Toppings (optional):

  • shredded coconut
  • shaved dark chocolate
  • hazelnuts
  • chia seeds
  • edible flowers
  1. In blender, puree raspberries, banana, coconut milk and chia seeds until smooth. Mixture will be thick; ingredients may need pushed down to get blender going. If necessary, add more coconut milk.
  2. Pour into two bowls. Garnish each with shredded coconut, shaved dark chocolate, hazelnuts, chia seeds and edible flowers, if desired.

Red Raspberry Whole-Fruit Sorbet

Servings: 8 (1/2 cup each)

  • 4          tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 18        ounces frozen raspberries
  • 1 egg white, pasteurized
  1. In blender, blend sugar and frozen raspberries until smooth.
  2. Add egg white and blend 30 seconds.
  3. Serve immediately or place in container, cover and store in freezer.

Spinach and Frisee Salad with Raspberry Pickled Onions and Raspberry Vinaigrette

Servings: 4

Raspberry Vinegar:

  • 1          cup frozen raspberries
  • 2          cups vinegar

Raspberry Pickled Onions:

  • 1/2       cup Raspberry Vinegar
  • 1          teaspoon olive oil
  • 2          tablespoons sugar
  • 2          teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1          pound sweet onions, peeled and julienned
  • 1          cup frozen raspberries, partially thawed

Raspberry Vinaigrette:

  • 1          cup Raspberry Vinegar
  • 1          teaspoon fresh shallot, peeled and minced
  • 2          teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2       tablespoon honey
  • 1/2       teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4       cup olive oil

Spinach and Frisee Salad:

  • 8          ounces baby spinach, cleaned and dried
  • 8          ounces frisee lettuce, cleaned, dried and torn
  • 2          ounces Raspberry Vinaigrette
  • 6          ounces Raspberry Pickled Onions
  • 2          ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 ounces almonds, slivered and toasted
  1. To make Raspberry Vinegar: In clean glass container, combine frozen raspberries and vinegar; cover tightly. Refrigerate 3-7 days prior to use.
  2. Pour vinegar through fine strainer or cheesecloth-lined strainer into clean glass container. Cover container tightly and store in refrigerator. Discard raspberries.
  3. To make Raspberry Pickled Onions: In medium, non-reactive container, combine Raspberry Vinegar, oil, sugar and salt. Stir to dissolve sugar. Add onions and raspberries. Toss well to blend and coat onions.
  4. To make Raspberry Vinaigrette: In blender, combine Raspberry Vinegar, shallot, Dijon mustard, honey and salt. With motor running, slowly add oil in steady stream. Reserve remaining Raspberry Vinegar.
  5. Once blended, pour Raspberry Vinaigrette into clean, non-reactive container; cover and reserve in refrigerator until ready to use.
  6. To make Spinach and Frisee Salad: In medium mixing bowl, combine spinach and lettuce. Add Raspberry Vinaigrette and toss well to coat.
  7. Plate 4 ounces mixed greens.
  8. Top mixed greens with 1 1/2 ounces Raspberry Pickled Onions, 1/2 ounce feta cheese crumbles and 1/2 ounce toasted almonds. Repeat with remaining greens, Raspberry Pickled Onions, feta cheese crumbles and toasted almonds.

Pecan-Topped Raspberry Cake

Servings: 8

  • 3/4       cup granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon, divided
  • 1/2       cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2          eggs
  • 1          cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1          teaspoon baking powder
  • 1          teaspoon vanilla
  • 1          bag (12 ounces) frozen raspberries
  • 1/2       cup chopped pecans
  • 1          tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1          teaspoon cinnamon
  • whipped cream
  1. Heat oven to 350 F.
  2. In bowl, cream 3/4 cup sugar and butter. Add eggs one at a time and continue beating until well incorporated. Add flour, baking powder and vanilla; beat well.
  3. Pour batter evenly into 9- or 10-inch prepared pan.
  4. Place frozen raspberries on top of batter. Sprinkle with pecans, remaining sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon.
  5. Bake about 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool.
  6. Serve with whipped cream.

Source: Washington Red Raspberry Commission

Meal Ideas 23 July 2019

Simplify Back-to-School Dinners with Nutritious Meal Plans

(Family Features) Back-to-school season can be cluttered between after-school activities, week­end sports and evening homework – as well as making dinner each night. Creating a master meal plan with quick, simple and nutritious meals is an easy way to take control of your family’s hectic schedule. Start by stocking the pantry with staple ingredients that amp up the nutrition and flavor of your family favorites.

For example, American Pecans are a nutri­tious ingredient to have on-hand – among the highest in “good” monounsaturated fats and packed with plant protein, fiber and essential minerals – and “The Original Supernut” is versatile enough for breakfast, lunchboxes, dinners and on-the-go snacking. Adding one bag to your weekly grocery list provides a canvas for exploring new dishes that are both nutritious and delicious.

In fact, according to the Food and Drug Administration, scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1 1/2 ounces per day of most nuts, such as pecans, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease. One serving (28 grams) of pecans contains 18 grams of unsaturated fat and only 2 grams of saturated fat.

Updating your dinner repertoire doesn’t have to be complicated. Fuss-free recipes such as Pizza with Pecan-Herb Topping, Baked Pecan-Crusted Chicken Tenders and Pecan-Crusted Air Fryer Pork Chops can be ready in less than an hour and put a fresh twist on classic favorites to please parents and kids alike.

Find more back-to-school recipe ideas at AmericanPecan.com

Pecan-Crusted Air Fryer Pork Chops

Cook time: 22 minutes

  • 1          cup pecan pieces
  • 1/3       cup arrowroot starch
  • 2          teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1          teaspoon onion powder
  • 1          teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4       teaspoon sea salt, plus additional, to taste
  • 1          large egg
  • 1          teaspoon Dijon mustard, plus additional for serving
  • 1          tablespoon water
  • 2          garlic cloves, crushed
  • 6          medium boneless pork chops, trimmed of fat
  1. Heat air fryer to 400° F.
  2. In medium bowl, mix pecans, arrow­root starch, Italian seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt.
  3. In separate bowl, whisk egg, 1 tea­spoon Dijon mustard, water and garlic.
  4. Cover pork chops in egg mixture then transfer to bowl with pecan mixture to coat all sides. Repeat with remaining pork chops. Place three pork chops in air fryer basket.
  5. Cook pork chops 6 minutes, flip, then cook additional 6 minutes. Set aside on plate.
  6. Repeat with remaining pork chops.
  7. Serve hot with Dijon mustard, if desired.

Baked Pecan-Crusted Chicken Tenders

Cook time: 35 minutes

  • 2          cups raw pecan halves or pieces
  • 1          cup panko or gluten-free bread crumbs
  • 1          teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4       teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1          teaspoon salt, plus additional, to taste
  • 1 1/2-2 pounds chicken breast tenders or chicken strips
  • 3          large eggs
  • 1          cup all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend
  • pepper, to taste

Buttermilk Ranch Dip:

  • 1/4       cup buttermilk
  • 1/2       cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2       cup sour cream
  • 1          teaspoon parsley
  • 1          teaspoon onion powder
  • 1          teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1          teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  1. Heat oven to 425° F.
  2. In food processor, pulse pecans until fine as breadcrumbs. In shallow bowl, mix pecans with panko, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and 1 teaspoon salt.
  3. In separate shallow bowl, whisk eggs until smooth. In third shallow bowl, add flour.
  4. Lightly season chicken tenders with salt and pepper, to taste. Working with one chicken tender at a time, dip in eggs, flour then pecan mixture. Be sure to press pecan mixture into chicken to be sure it is completely coated. Set chicken on baking sheet lined with cooling rack or parchment paper. Repeat with remaining chicken.
  5. Place chicken on center rack and bake 20 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
  6. To make Buttermilk Ranch Dip: In small bowl, whisk buttermilk, mayonnaise, sour cream, parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, dried dill and salt until smooth.
  7. Serve pecan-crusted chicken tenders warm paired with Buttermilk Ranch Dip.

Pizza with Pecan-Herb Topping

Cook time: 40 minutes

  • 1          store-bought pizza dough
  • 1          cup raw pecan halves or pieces
  • 1/2       cup fresh parsley
  • 1/2       teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/3       cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1          teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1          pinch salt
  • 1          pinch pepper
  • 1/2       cup jarred pizza sauce
  • 2          cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2       cup thinly sliced red pepper
  • 1/2       cup thinly sliced Vidalia onion
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Lightly flour clean surface. Using rolling pin, roll out pizza dough to 1/8-inch thick and transfer to prepared baking sheet. Gently pierce dough with fork to prevent air pockets. Bake crust 10-15 minutes, or until lightly golden in color.
  3. In food processor, pulse pecans, parsley and garlic powder until mixture becomes coarse crumbs. Transfer to bowl and stir in Parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes (if desired), salt and pepper. Set aside.
  4. Using spoon, evenly spread pizza sauce over crust. Top with mozzarella cheese, red pepper slices and onion slices. Sprinkle 1/3 cup pecan mixture evenly over pizza.
  5. Transfer pizza to oven and bake 10-15 minutes, or until crust is crispy and cheese is melted. Serve with remaining pecan-herb mixture.

Notes: If dough instructions differ from recipe, use package instructions. Additional topping options include: pepperoni, olives, ham, bacon and roasted veggies. Leftover pecan-herb topping can be used for pasta and salads.

Source:  American Pecan Council

Meal Ideas 28 May 2019

Effortless Summertime Entertaining

(Family Features) Summer means it’s time to stock up on fresh produce and light the grill for a season of outdoor gatherings with friends and family. Make entertaining easier with flavorful options that can make menu-planning a breeze all summer long.

A nutritious and versatile ingredient, American Pecans can be your secret weapon for a variety of entertaining occasions. Add one bag of pecans to your shopping list and transform standby recipes into wholesome and delicious meals and snacks for the whole crowd.

Enjoy the long summer nights on the back porch with a Spiced Pecan Grilled Peach Salad, packed with the essential flavors and textures of summertime. Or serve up Pecan-Crusted Asian Turkey Meatball Lettuce Wraps, a light and delicious appetizer or easy entree to keep guests satisfied.

Discover more summertime entertaining recipes and cooking tips at AmericanPecan.com.

Spiced Pecan Grilled Peach Salad with Goat Cheese

Spiced Pecans:

  • 1 egg white
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups pecan halves

Salad:

  • 1/4 cup, plus 2 teaspoons, extra-virgin olive oil or pecan oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 large peaches, halved and pitted
  • 6 cups mixed baby greens
  • 4 ounces soft goat cheese
  1. To make spiced pecans: Heat oven to 275° F. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In bowl, whisk egg white, brown sugar, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and salt until well combined. Fold in pecans and mix until evenly coated. Spread in single layer on baking sheet.
  3. Bake 45-50 minutes, stirring occasionally until pecans are fragrant and golden brown. Allow to cool completely.
  4. To make salad: In bowl, whisk 1/4 cup olive oil, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  5. Brush cut sides of peach halves with remaining olive oil; grill until grill lines appear and peaches become tender, about 3-5 minutes. Remove peaches and slice.
  6. Divide greens among four plates. Top with grilled peach slices and goat cheese. Divide 1 cup spiced pecans evenly among salads and reserve remaining for snack. Top each salad with drizzle of vinaigrette.

Pecan-Crusted Asian Turkey Meatball Lettuce Wraps

Meatballs:

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey thigh
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions (about 2 stalks)
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 1 cup fresh pecans

Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 head butter lettuce leaves
  • 1/2 cup matchstick carrots
  • chopped scallions (optional)
  • cilantro leaves (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 375° F.
  2. To make meatballs: Using hands, combine ground turkey, green onions, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, garlic and powdered ginger.
  3. In food processor, pulse pecans until coarsely ground to similar consistency as panko bread crumbs.
  4. Scoop 1 tablespoon meat mixture at a time and roll into meatballs. Roll meatballs in ground pecans until evenly coated.
  5. Place pecan-crusted meatballs on parchment-lined baking sheet; bake approximately 20 minutes. Flip after 15 minutes.
  6. To make sauce: In small saucepan over medium heat, combine soy sauce, cornstarch, fish sauce and sesame oil. Stir until sauce thickens, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
  7. Sprinkle lettuce cups with shredded carrots. Place meatballs on top and drizzle with sauce. Garnish with scallions and cilantro, if desired.

Source: American Pecan Council

Healthy 24 January 2019

Simple Ways to be Heart Smart

Discover recipes chock-full of heart-healthy pecans

(Family Features) Sometimes making small changes can have a positive impact on your health – including heart health – like drinking more water, taking the stairs instead of the escalator and adding nutritious ingredients to your snacks and meals.

Incorporating nutritious ingredients is an easy way to step up your mealtime – for example, American Pecans can super-fy nearly any recipe by adding flavor and nutrition.

It’s always a good time to include heart-healthy ingredients on your shopping list. Certified by the American Heart Association’s Heart-Check*, American Pecans and their unique mix of unsaturated fats, plant sterols, fiber and flavonoids add up to help promote a healthy heart. In fact, according to the Food and Drug Administration, research suggests but does not prove that eating 1 1/2 ounces of most nuts, such as pecans, each day as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may help reduce your risk of heart disease. One serving of pecans (28 grams) contains 18 grams unsaturated fat and only 2 grams saturated fat.

Boosting the heart-smart punch of your favorite recipes can be easy with pecans. Whether topping a salad, sprinkling into bread batter or using them as the foundation of a portable snack, there are few things America’s native nut can’t do.

Start the day right with a bowl of Banana Pecan Cherry Oatmeal – a comforting and hearty combination that can keep you full for hours. For a wholesome, on-the-go option perfect for school snacks, desk drawers or an afternoon pick-me-up, try Cherry Pecan Energy Bites. Dried cherries, dates and crunchy pecans combine for an all-natural burst of heart-smart nutrition to help you power through the day.

Discover more ways to create heart-healthy meals with pecans at AmericanPecan.com.
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Banana Pecan Cherry Oatmeal

  • 1          cup old-fashioned oats
  • 2          cups water
  • 1/2       cup pecan milk
  • 1          banana, sliced
  • 1/4       cup pecan halves
  • 1/4       cup dried tart cherries
  • 1/4       cup honey
  1. In large, microwave-safe bowl, combine oats and water. Microwave on high 3-4 minutes, or until oats are cooked through. Watch carefully to avoid boiling over.
  2. Remove from microwave, stir and divide between two bowls. Pour 1/4 cup pecan milk over each bowl.
  3. Divide sliced banana, pecan halves and dried tart cherries between each bowl and drizzle with 2 tablespoons honey. Serve immediately.

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Cherry Pecan Energy Bites

Makes: 10-12 energy bites

  • 1          cup toasted pecan halves or pieces
  • 1          cup dried cherries
  • 4          medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/4       cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1          tablespoon cacao powder, plus additional, for coating (optional)
  • 1          teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. In bowl of food processor, combine toasted pecans, dried cherries, dates, oats, cacao powder and vanilla extract.
  2. Pulse until ingredients begin to bind and form loose, dough-like ball.
  3. Roll into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in additional cacao powder, if desired, and transfer to airtight container. Refrigerate until ready to serve, up to seven days.

Note: To make gluten-free, substitute 1/4 cup of certified gluten-free old-fashioned oats.

*Heart-Check certification does not apply to recipes.

Source: American Pecan Council

Meal Ideas 27 October 2017

A Friendsgiving Feast

Sides, drinks and leftovers perfect for sharing with friends

(Family Features) Friendsgiving is the perfect opportunity to celebrate your second family with festive, fun recipes that stray a bit away from traditional fare.

“Friendsgiving is often held on the Saturday before Thanksgiving,” said Chef Kevan Vetter of the McCormick Kitchens. “It’s more of a potluck party than a traditional Thanksgiving – everyone is usually assigned a dish. Instead of stuffing or a green bean casserole, bring a dish that’s a little more fun, like corn pudding with a dash of smoky heat from chipotle chili pepper.”

These recipes for a caramelized Brie and a chocolatey red wine from the McCormick kitchens are also sure to please. If your party falls after the big day, put those turkey leftovers to good use with a cheesy turkey crescent ring perfect for feeding a group of friends.

Find more recipes to share with friends this season at McCormick.com.

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Chipotle Corn Pudding

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Servings: 8

  • 1/4       cup cornstarch
  • 1/4       cup sugar
  • 2          teaspoons McCormick Minced Onions
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons McCormick Ground Mustard
  • 1          teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Sicilian Sea Salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon McCormick Chipotle Chili Pepper
  • 4          eggs
  • 1/2       cup milk
  • 1/4       cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
  • 2          cans (14 3/4 ounces each) creamed corn
  • 1          can (15 1/4 ounces) whole- kernel corn, drained
  • nonstick cooking spray
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. In small bowl, mix cornstarch, sugar, onions, mustard, sea salt and chili pepper until well blended; set aside.
  2. In large bowl, lightly beat eggs. Stir in milk, butter and all corn. Gently stir in cornstarch mixture until well blended. Pour into 2 1/2-quart baking dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Bake 1 hour, or until set, stirring halfway through cooking. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

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Slow Cooker Red Wine Hot Chocolate

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Servings: 14

  • 1          bottle (750 milliliters) red wine
  • 8          cups whole milk
  • 1          can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1          package (12 ounces) dark chocolate chips
  • 1          teaspoon McCormick Ground Nutmeg
  • 4          McCormick Cinnamon Sticks
  1. Place all ingredients in slow cooker. Cover.
  2. Cook 60-70 minutes on high, or until chocolate is melted and mixture is heated through, stirring every 15 minutes.
  3. Reduce heat to low. Serve from slow cooker.

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Pecan Pie Brie

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes
Servings: 12

  • 1/2       cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2       teaspoon McCormick Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/8       teaspoon McCormick Ground Nutmeg
  • 3          tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1          cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/2       cup light corn syrup
  • 2          tablespoons water
  • 1          teaspoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2       teaspoon McCormick Rum Extract
  • 1          wheel Brie cheese, warmed
  1. In small bowl, mix brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg until blended. Set aside.
  2. In large skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add pecans; toast 5-7 minutes, or until golden brown, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low.
  3. Stir remaining butter, corn syrup, water, vanilla extract, rum extract and brown sugar mixture into skillet. Cook and stir until butter is melted and mixture is heated through. Remove from heat. Mixture will thicken as it cools.
  4. Spoon over warmed Brie.

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Leftover Turkey Taco Crescent Ring

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Servings: 10

  • 1          package McCormick Original Taco Seasoning Mix, divided
  • 2          tablespoons butter
  • 1          cup finely chopped onion
  • 2          cups shredded, cooked turkey
  • 1          can (15 1/4 ounces) whole-kernel corn, drained
  • 1          can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes and chilies, drained
  • 1          garlic clove, minced
  • 1          container (8 ounces) whipped cream cheese
  • 2          cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 2          packages (8 ounces each) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
  1. Heat oven to 375° F. Reserve 1 teaspoon taco seasoning mix in small bowl; set aside.
  2. In medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion; cook and stir 3 minutes, or until tender. Add turkey, corn, tomatoes, garlic and remaining seasoning mix. Cook and stir 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in cream cheese and 1 cup shredded cheese.
  3. Unroll crescent roll dough on greased or parchment paper-lined baking pan. Separate into triangles. Arrange triangles to resemble sun with center open. Press dough where bottoms of triangles overlap. Spoon turkey mixture in ring where dough overlaps. Fold triangle points over filling, tucking into bottom layer to secure. Continue until entire ring is enclosed.
  4. Bake 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
  5. In bowl, stir remaining shredded cheese into reserved seasoning mix. Remove ring from oven. Sprinkle with cheese mixture. Bake 5 minutes longer, or until cheese is melted.
  6. Serve with desired toppings, such as shredded lettuce, sour cream or guacamole.

Source: McCormick

Snacks 25 October 2017

Pumpkin-Perfect Autumn Recipes

(Family Features) Fall is perfect for making time for fun before the busy holiday season – go for a fall picnic, visit your local orchard or pumpkin patch, and take advantage of all the flavors fall has to offer. Try these delicious, comforting, no-hassle fall ideas that won’t carve a big chunk out of your budget:

  • The great taste of seasonal produce can stand on its own, adding star power to simple recipes. Baked pears or apples are a sweet, festive treat. Slice them in half and fill with walnuts, drizzle with honey and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake until the sugars caramelize and fruits soften.
  • Take on-the-go snacks to the next level by coating almonds or garbanzo beans in your favorite seasonal spices and baking until crispy.

No matter the season, trim time grocery shopping by relying on a one-stop-shop like ALDI. Whether you’re looking for a new pumpkin spice treat or need quality ingredients for your famous chili, you can find it all at wallet-friendly prices.

Find more tips and recipes for a hassle-free fall at ALDI.us.

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Pumpkin Pie Smoothie Bowl

Recipe Courtesy of Chef Audrey, ALDI Test Kitchen

  • 1/2       cup Baker’s Corner 100% Pure Canned Pumpkin
  • 1/2       cup Friendly Farms Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2       frozen banana
  • 1/2       cup Friendly Farms Unsweetened Original Almondmilk
  • 2          teaspoons Specially Selected 100% Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1          teaspoon Stonemill Pumpkin Pie Spice

Optional garnishes:

  • SimplyNature Flax Seed
  • Southern Grove Chia Seeds
  • Baker’s Corner Semi-Sweet Mini Morsels
  • Southern Grove Chopped Pecans, toasted
  • Apple slices
  • SimplyNature Organic Ground Cinnamon
  1. Blend canned pumpkin, yogurt, banana, milk, syrup and pumpkin pie spice until smooth. Transfer to serving bowl. Top with desired garnishes.          

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Mini Pumpkin Parfait with Cranberry Caramel

Recipe courtesy of Chef Kates, ALDI Test Kitchen

  • 1          package Cafe Bistro Spekulatius Spiced Cookies
  • 1/2       cup Countryside Creamery Unsalted Butter, divided
  • 1/2       cup packed Baker's Corner Brown Sugar
  • 1/4       cup water
  • 1          cup Sweet Harvest Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
  • 8          ounces Happy Farms Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Spread, softened
  • 1/4       cup Baker's Corner Powdered Sugar
  • 1          cup Baker's Corner 100% Pure Canned Pumpkin
  • 8          ounces Friendly Farms Whipped Topping, divided
  1. Place cookies in food processor and pulse to form fine crumbs. 
  2. In medium saucepan, melt 1/4 cup butter. Add cookie crumbs and stir over medium heat 5 minutes, or until toasted. Remove from heat.
  3. To make caramel: Bring brown sugar and water to simmer. Cook about 10 minutes, or until color changes to dark amber. Do not stir, but watch closely. Stir in cranberry sauce and remaining butter. Return to simmer and continue stirring until well combined and thickened slightly, 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  4. Press warm cookie crumbs in bottom of small serving glasses, such as clear shot glasses, espresso cups, small bowls or parfait glasses. Set aside.
  5. In medium bowl, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add pumpkin and continue mixing to combine. Gently fold in 6 ounces whipped topping.
  6. To complete assembly, top crumbs with layers of cranberry caramel and pumpkin cream. Repeat layers, including crumbs, 2-3 times depending on glass size. Top each parfait with dollop of remaining whipped topping. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 8 hours.

Source: ALDI

Holiday 19 January 2017

Sweet Ideas for Holiday Desserts

(Family Features) The highlight of many a holiday meal, desserts are adored by young and old alike. This year, complete your festive celebration with delightful desserts that feature California Dried Figs.

Naturally sweet and available year round, figs easily add a touch of elegance to a variety of recipes. Dark purple Mission Figs have a soft, thin skin with a sweet, fruity taste, while Golden Figs are amber-colored with a firmer skin, well-developed seeds and a slightly nutty flavor. Both are interchangeable in most recipes.

Keeping holiday traditions

California Dried Figs are the perfect ingredient to star in your holiday recipes, especially for Hanukkah and Christmas. Sliced and simmered with fresh lemon and honey and spooned over cheesecake or chopped and combined with a little hazelnut liqueur and caramel for a luscious bottom layer, figs add a stunning fruit accent to popular cheesecake desserts. No matter what you are celebrating, your family will love these “figgy” recipes.

Besides the sweetness that figs bring to the table, California Dried Figs are a healthy ingredient rich in dietary fiber, complex carbohydrates and such essential minerals as potassium, iron and calcium.

Learn more about Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice and Sun-Maid California Dried Figs at www.valleyfig.com

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Fig, Lemon and Honey Cheesecake

Servings: 12

Crust:
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup chopped, stemmed Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs
Cheesecake:
  • 1 1/2 pounds (three 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced (for garnish)
Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 cup sliced, stemmed Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs
  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. For crust, mix graham cracker crumbs and sugar; stir in butter. Press into bottom of buttered 9-inch springform pan. Bake 8–10 minutes, till edges are golden. Remove from oven and sprinkle evenly with figs.
  3. For cheesecake, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium-low speed until smooth, scraping bowl as needed. Gradually beat in sugar, then sour cream, zest and vanilla. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Scrap filling into pan over figs. Bake on middle rack for 45–55 minutes, until almost set in center. Cool. Chill 4 hours or overnight.
  4. For sauce, in small saucepan, combine water, honey and lemon juice. Stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a simmer. Add cornstarch solution and stir for a few seconds, until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in figs. Cool. Chill until serving time.
  5. To serve, run thin knife around edge of cheesecake and remove side of pan. Cut into wedges and top each with sauce. Garnish with thin slices of lemon, if desired.

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Cheesecake Mousse with Fig Orange Sauce

Servings: 4

Fig-orange sauce:
  • 1 cup sliced, stemmed Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup packed golden brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange-flavored liqueur or orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
Cheesecake mousse:
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup whipped heavy cream
Topping and garnish:
  • 1/2 cup crumbled shortbread cookies
  • 1/4 cup chopped, toasted pecans or almonds
  • Sprigs of fresh mint, optional
  1. To make sauce, in small saucepan, combine figs and orange juice. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat and simmer until liquid is reduced to about 1/4 cup, 4–5 minutes. Stir in brown sugar and simmer until liquid is syrupy, 2–3 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in orange liqueur and lemon juice. Chill until serving time.
  2. To make mousse, with wire whisk, beat cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Gently whisk in 1/2 of whipped cream. With rubber spatula, fold in remaining whipped cream. (Sauce and mousse can be held in refrigerator up to 1 day.)
  3. To serve, spoon mousse in bottom of 4 martini or champagne flutes. Smooth to even layer. Top with fig sauce. Sprinkle with crumbled cookies and nuts. Garnish with mint.

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Caramel Fig Mini-Cheesecakes

Servings: 12

  • 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped hazelnuts or pecans
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped, stemmed Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs
  • 1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
  • 3 tablespoons hazelnut liqueur or orange juice
  • 1 pound (two 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • Thinly sliced figs
  • 1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
  • 1 tablespoon hazelnut liqueur or orange juice
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 12 (2 3/4-inch) muffin cups with paper cups.
  2. Combine graham cracker crumbs, nuts and melted butter. Press firmly into bottoms of cups. Bake in middle of oven for 5 minutes, till fragrant. Remove from oven and reserve.
  3. In small saucepan, combine figs, caramel topping and liqueur. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly, and cook for 1 minute or until most of liquid is absorbed.
  4. Spoon figs over crusts and press firmly with back of spoon to even layer.
  5. In bowl with electric mixer, beat cream cheese on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping bowl frequently. Beat in sugar, lemon juice and vanilla. On low speed, beat in eggs, one at a time.
  6. Spoon cheese mixture into cups over fig mixture.
  7. Return to middle of oven for 18–20 minutes, till set. Remove from oven and cool in pan on wire rack. Chill in pan for 3 hours.
  8. To serve, carefully remove cheesecakes from pan and paper cups to serving plates. For topping, fan fig slices on top of cheesecakes. Combine caramel topping and liqueur; drizzle over cakes.

Fig and Goat Cheese Squares

Servings: 30

  • 2 cups stemmed Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup toasted chopped walnuts
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed golden brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 2 cups goat cheese, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease or line 9-by-13-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. In medium saucepan, combine figs, water and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook 5 minutes or until figs are tender. Cool slightly.
  3. Place fig mixture in food processor or blender; process until smooth. Stir in chopped walnuts. Reserve.
  4. Combine flour, brown sugar and salt in bowl. Stir to combine. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Press mixture in prepared baking dish. Gently spread fig mixture over prepared crust.
  5. Beat goat cheese and eggs until smooth. Spread over fig mixture. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until set. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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