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Judy Scruggs and her husband, Joe, live “out in the woods” near Cumby with an extensive menagerie, including a donkey, a pony, a couple of dogs and “more cats than you can count,” she said. Judy, who said she spends a couple of hours a day in the kitchen, came up with her winning recipe using ingredients she always has on hand.

2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon creamy horseradish
2 medium Gala apples, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/4 of a jicama, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
1 block (8 ounces) extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1 small egg
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Pinch salt
1 cup finely chopped Texas pecans

  • Combine sugar, mustard, mayonnaise, lemon juice and horseradish in a medium bowl. Add apples and jicama and toss to coat. Sprinkle with chives and set aside.
  • Slice cheese into 4 equal pieces, each measuring 5 1/2 inches by 2 1/2 inches by 1/4 inch. Beat egg in a medium bowl and add maple syrup. Beat briefly to combine. Set aside.
  • Combine flour, pepper and salt in small bowl. Transfer flour mixture to a plate. Set aside.
  • Place chopped pecans on another plate and set aside.
  • Dredge cheese cutlets in the flour mixture and shake excess back into the bowl. Dip floured cutlets into egg mixture, allowing excess to drip back into the bowl. Set dredged and dipped cheese on top of chopped pecans on the plate to coat one side. Flip to coat second side. Use your fingers to press pecans onto the edges of each cutlet, coating them entirely.
  • Preheat a heavy 12-inch nonstick frying pan over medium-low heat. Use a spatula to gently set cutlets into the heated pan.
  • Cook cheese for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or until pecans become fragrant. Carefully flip and cook on the second side for another 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Remove to serving plates.
  • Top each cutlet with 3 to 4 tablespoons of apple mixture and serve warm.

Servings: 4. Serving size: 1 slice. Per serving: 658 calories, 19.3 g protein, 43.8 g fat, 47.3 g carbohydrates, 4.8 g dietary fiber, 559 mg sodium, 29.3 g sugars, 99 mg cholesterol

Judy Scruggs, Farmers Electric Cooperative