Preheat oven to 350′ Spread 1 cup chopped pecans in a jelly roll pan , in a single layer. toast ’till fragrant 5 to 8 minutes. watch carefully do not burn or it will spoil the entire dish. Please be patient and let cool for a minimum of 20 minutes in a single layer on parchment paper.
While pecans are cooling stir 3/4 cup of mayo a few shots of Tabasco sauce and a heaping tablespoon of horseradish [I use more] so you will need to taste before adding the 2 nd tablespoon. Stir in a mixing bowl. Add some sea salt FLAKES. and some fresh ground black pepper.
At this point refrigerate mixture while you hand grate on your fine microplane grater 1 lb. of sharp Cheddar cheese. I use CABOT Seriously sharp cheddar .
remove mayo mixture from frig…gently fold in grated cheese & cooled pecans. At this point I usually line a 1950′s jello mold w/ press & seal, and place carefully the mixture into mold and it is important to *chill *overnight.
when ready to serve pull the edges of press & seal up to unmold and place on a pretty Christmas dish, and fill center with my defrosted strawberry jam . as the combination of sweet & savory taste thrills my taste buds. or for a savory pallet fill center with green onion stalks/thin sliced carrots /red peppers sliced in strips / a few thin cut celery stalks.
This presentation pictured is just the cheese mixture scooped up and on a plate with a large dollop of horseradish on top and topped with some capers and served with green onion Juline , on crackers.