We Texans love our pecans, especially when they’re native. Again this year, the Texas Pecan Board sponsored the annual Texas Co-op Power Holiday Recipe Contest, and the 2013 grand prizewinner has done our state’s favorite nut proud.
Farmers Electric Cooperative
$3,000 Grand Prizewinner
Rockwall resident Peggy Dickerson created a delicious recipe featuring Texas pecans, shrimp and a tangy Thai dipping sauce.
Dickerson says she was encouraged by her grandmother to cook and began experimenting in the kitchen as an 8-year-old.
“I like to create new dishes, and I’m really interested in how food looks on the plate,” she says, adding that her husband, Gary, teases her about the effort she puts into the presentation of meals. Her eye for delicious taste and presentation earned her the 2013 Holiday Recipe Contest $3,000 grand prize.
Be sure to check out all the 2013 winners in the Also in This Issue box at right.
Pecan-Studded Crowns of Shrimp
atop Royal Spring Greens
1 pound large shrimp
1 3/4 cups Texas pecans, divided
3/4 cup cornflakes
3/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
4 teaspoons plus 1 cup sugar, divided
4 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed dried red pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons medium-grind sea salt, divided
1/4 cup whipping cream
Dash red pepper sauce
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
Oil for frying
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons Thai sweet red chili sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon grated onion
Pinch ground pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 cups fresh spring mixed greens
6 dates, pitted and sliced
6 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1 beet, roasted and cut into half-inch cubes (optional)
1 pear, peeled and thinly sliced
- Peel and devein shrimp, leaving the tails attached. Finely chop 3/4 cup pecans. Crush cornflakes to 1/4-inch pieces. Mix pecans and cornflakes together in a medium bowl with breadcrumbs, 4 teaspoons sugar, sesame seeds, red and black peppers and 1 teaspoon sea salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, cream and pepper sauce. Place flour in a separate bowl.
- Holding a shrimp by the tail, dip in flour, covering all but the tail. Next, dip in egg mixture. Finally, dredge in pecan mixture, patting gently to cover the shrimp well. Set aside and repeat process until all shrimp are breaded.
- Heat 1 1/2 inches of frying oil to 350 degrees in a Dutch oven or electric skillet. Watching carefully, fry shrimp for 3 minutes or until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain well on a rack or paper towels. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together honey, Thai chili sauce, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, onion, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, pinch of ground pepper and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Set aside.
- Boil 1 cup water, remaining 1 cup sugar and cayenne pepper 5 to 7 minutes or until just slightly thickened. Stir in remaining 1 cup pecans and boil for another 5 minutes. While pecan mixture is boiling, mix brown sugar and remaining 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Drain pecans and place on waxed paper. While still warm, sprinkle pecans with the brown sugar mixture and toss. Cool completely.
- Gently toss greens with approximately half of the sauce, dates, goat cheese and beet cubes, if desired. Pile the greens mixture in the center of a plate.
- On the greens, arrange 3 pear slices in the shape of a pyramid. Sprinkle with desired amount of glazed pecans. Carefully place 3 pecan-studded shrimp atop the pears and greens to form a “crown.”
- Garnish with additional pecans and serve extra sauce on the side for dipping shrimp. Store any remaining candied pecans in an airtight container.
Servings: 6. Serving size: 1/6 of dish. Per serving: 668 calories, 24.2 g protein, 25.2 g fat, 86.1 g carbohydrates, 5.8 g dietary fiber, 1,664 mg sodium, 54.8 g sugars, 145 mg cholesterol