Sunday, July 26, 2020

Cowboy Candy - Candied Pickled Jalapenos

Sliced fresh jalapenos, lightly blanched, then stacked in a quart jar with sliced garlic and brined in an apple cider vinegar and sugar brine.
Sliced fresh jalapenos, lightly blanched, then stacked in a quart jar with sliced garlic and brined in an apple cider vinegar and sugar brine.

Cowboy Candy - Candied Pickled Jalapenos

I used to grow lots of vegetables, including sweet and hot peppers, but haven't grown any in quite a bit. Haven't really grown much of anything other than tomatoes, and maybe a few herbs here the past few years. Just can't take the heat enough to keep the garden in good shape. But, peppers are in abundance and pretty cheap during the summer months, so you don't have to be a gardener to grab a bunch!

This is a variation of a Bell's Best cookbook recipe from the 70s that uses both sweet and hot peppers, but primarily sweet peppers. I decided to make it using only jalapenos. It's often referred to as Cowboy Candy across the net, but it's simply a pickled jalapeno that's a little bit heavier on the sugar, and somewhere along the line of those candied Fire 'n Ice pickles, we all love so much.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Classic Fresh Purple Hull Peas

A basic recipe for fresh purple hull peas, simply seasoned with bacon, onion, garlic and salt and pepper.
A classic recipe for southern peas, in this case, fresh purple hulls, simply seasoned with bacon, onion, garlic, salt and pepper, perfect as a side dish or as a feature on a vegetable plate. Pictured here with my whiskey glazed baked ham, Dr. Weil's steamed broccoli and the cornbread from my cookbook {affil link}, made with stone ground cornmeal from the Smoky Mountains.

Fresh Purple Hull Peas

If I had to pick one of my favorite southern peas, it'd have to be purple hulls. I just love them, and they are super easy to grow and easy to find, even if you don't grow your own.

Purple hull peas get their name from the color of the hull, and it used to be that if you ever shelled any from the pod, your purple stained fingers would be a dead giveaway. It might be that most shelling takes place in an air conditioned home these days, rather than in a rocker on the front porch in the heat and humidity, but I've shelled several pounds at a time and didn't have issue with those colorful fingers.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Bacon and Tomato Macaroni Salad

A great summer salad made with garden fresh tomatoes, veggies and bacon, tossed in a flavorful mayonnaise dressing and macaroni.
A great summer salad made with garden fresh tomatoes, veggies and bacon, tossed in a flavorful mayonnaise dressing and macaroni.

Bacon and Tomato Macaroni Salad

This year, I only planted tomatoes, and although there are a few stragglers out there, they've all just about played out. I've had a few small baskets of them going at any given time this summer though, and I sure have been enjoying them, in every form possible! This macaroni salad is among the definite summer favorites of mine and one that's been sharing space in my fridge throughout this heat wave.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Instant Pot Green Beans, Potatoes and Andouille

Fresh green beans, trimmed and snapped and layered in with salt pork, onion, sliced smoked andouille sausage, plenty of freshly cracked black pepper and pork or chicken base or stock, cooked in the Instant Pot.

Instant Pot Green Beans, Potatoes and Andouille

I absolutely love a pot of slow stewed, fresh green beans, so much so, that I can literally make a meal of a pot, especially when you throw in some ham or andouille sausage! Just give me that and some cornbread, and I am in heaven y'all!

I use my Instant Pot {affil link}, or one of my other electronic pressure cookers a lot, yes, even in the summer. I was never real attached to a slow cooker much, but I do a lot of cooking in the Instant Pot. This Instant Pot version of green beans comes in right up there along with the slow stewed version, even though instead of hours slow stewing, they come together in just minutes. I've made them enough times now, varying the way I do them, that I'm finally ready to publish a standalone version. No worries if you don't have an Instant Pot though - just click here to get to my slow-stewed, stovetop version!

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