As we enter into the final preparations for Thanksgiving, we’re highlighting delicious recipes from recent UNC Press cookbooks. Each day this week, our authors bring you their best dishes to help make your holiday special and memorable.
Today, it’s —
Hot Pecan Country Ham Spread
This recipe is born from others — I have seen recipes in a slew of community cookbooks for hot pecan dip, and the good southern pecan lover in me has always been intrigued. But those recipes call for dried beef, which I have never used and am not sure you can still buy. It finally occurred to me to give it a try with a southern cooking staple, country ham. The result is creamy and salty and crunchy and downright delicious. This is one of those dishes that make people crowd around the buffet table.
Makes about 3 cups
6 ounces center-cut country ham slices, roughly torn
3 green onions, white and light green parts, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup chopped pecans
Place the country ham, green onions, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until everything is chopped to a rough purée. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the cream cheese, sour cream, and pepper and blend until smooth. Scrape the mixture into a 1-quart baking dish, smoothing the top.
Melt the butter in a small skillet and add the Worcestershire. Stir in the pecans and cook until the pecans are toasted and smell nice and nutty, about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Leave the pecans to cool, then sprinkle over the top of the spread. Lightly press the pecans into the surface to adhere. The dip can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days at this point.
When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 350° and cook the dip until warmed through and lightly bubbling. Serve with hearty crackers.
From Southern Snacks: 77 Recipes for Small Bites with Big Flavors by Perre Coleman Magness
Copyright © 2018 Perre Coleman Magness
Perre Coleman Magness is the author of Pimento Cheese: The Cookbook and The Southern Sympathy Cookbook. You can follow her on Twitter.