It's been another wild, fun and productive week here on "Thompson Hill" (sounds good but it's NOT really a hill)!
Mike went to the Farmer's Market on Benbrook Traffic Circle with a small list in hand that I had made the night before. When he returned, I saw he bought some beautiful squash, both yellow and zucchini. Then I spotted a large sack of green beans, which I didn't order or want. I reached in the bag and tried to snap one and they appeared long and not easy to snap.
I told him, "I think these are old." He didn't say anything and I thought, "Oh brother, now what do I do?" Then he smiled and said, "Those are fresh black-eyed peas." Now I was not only happy but very surprised. We love to shell peas indoors watching a good movie when it's 100 plus degrees outside. He got me on that one for sure! Last year, we bought a full bushel full of peas and I really overdid that "fun" experience.
The recipes I am featuring today all have to do with current fresh produce that is readily available now.
We shelled out the peas first (or you can buy them already shelled out.) I rinse them and put them either in a small slow cooker or in a small Dutch oven. I cover them with water, about an extra 2 inches over the peas. I use bottled or spring water. Then I chop up some bacon and throw in the pot along with one small chopped sweet onion. I add fresh cracked pepper, little salt and a teaspoon of molasses and a teaspoon of red wine vinegar. I cook the peas slowly until tender and then taste to adjust the seasonings. Instead of bacon, I have used a smoked ham hock OR pieces of chopped ham for flavor.
I'm always trying to find a way to enjoy squash, besides steaming or grilling it, and this dish works well along with a salad, and doubly delicious with pork chops or a small meatloaf.
2 pounds yellow squash OR zucchini
2 cans drained hominy
1/2 pound sharp cheese grated (can use less)
2 jalapeno peppers-seeded and chopped
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/2-1 teaspoon salt
1 large white onion-chopped
1/2 stick butter (1/4 cup)
Crushed Doritos or tostados
Cook the squash, onion and butter SLOWLY until tender with 1/2 cup water in a skillet. Add the remaining ingredients, reserving 1 cup of cheese. Pour into a 3-quart casserole and top with the remaining cheese. Sprinkle with crushed tostados or Doritos. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour.
This is wonderful served over your favorite vanilla ice cream. Kids sure love it!
6 cups peeled, pitted and sliced peaches
3/ cup sugar
1/2 cup water
Mix the fruit, sugar and water together in a pot. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to LOW and let the fruit simmer for 10 minutes. Serve warm. This serves 4-6. I have also used other fruits instead of peaches, such as cherries or apples.
This just goes with everything, and is so fresh and delightful.
2 medium onions
3 fresh tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt (or less to taste)
fresh ground pepper-to taste
1/4 cup vinegar (I use either balsamic or red wine)
Slice the onions and cucumbers, and dice the tomatoes. Mix together in a bowl. Add salt, pepper and vinegar. Toss to marinate. Refrigerate until ready to serve. This salad serves 6-8.
Next week I'll be sharing more recipes featuring fresh produce, and we'll take a look at okra recipes. The okra has been a little late coming in but by next week we should be seeing much more.
Have another wonderful week in Parker County. Let's support our favorite farmer's markets.