Dee Dee takes advantage of fresh produce now available

07/22/2014 9:19 AM

07/22/2014 9:20 AM

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.

Dee Dee's fresh Black-eyed Peas

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.

Thompson's Squash and Hominy Casserole

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.

Parker County Stewed Peaches

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.

The C.T.O. Salad (Cucumbers, Tomatoes, and Onions)

This just goes with everything, and is so fresh and delightful.

2 medium onions

2 cucumbers

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.

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