Category Archives: bacon

fresh lady creamer peas

 

creamer peas-finished

at the risk of sounding unpopular, sometimes due to the extreme heat, crushing crowds, and added expense of it all, i just have to take time off from the farmer’s market. don’t get me wrong, i love to support local growers, organic or otherwise (you’d be hard-pressed to find any farmer’s at the market who use chemicals or sprays, anyhow), but i am not a competitive person by nature, so sometimes all the nudging to get at the best tomatoes, peaches, and eggs can get a bit much for me. but after a break from it a few weeks back, i come with new eyes and spot some fresh lady creamer peas. this is exactly the type of thing that makes each farmer’s market unique: the distinct nature of the local produce. this, of course, begged the question: what to do with them? after poking around online and coming up with with virtually nothing about this very specific item, i had my suspicions about where to turn for assistance, robb walsh‘s ‘the texas cowboy cookbook’. robb has become an expert in regional cooking, including cowboy and tex-mex cooking styles, real texas barbeque, texas gulf specialties (like oysters, etc), you name it. if you love anything texas, these books are for you.

creamer peas -book

these  peas, which are interchangeable with any fresh field peas such as black eyed or purple hull peas in their cooking style, are a cinch to make and compliment a great texas summer meal. we had ours with grilled pork loin and summer squash, and cornbread.

creamer peas

fresh lady creamer peas (serves 4-6 as a side dish)

1 pound shelled lady creamer, black -eyed, purple hull peas (about 3 cups)

2-3 slices bacon, chopped

1 medium onion, diced

2 cups stock (preferably homemade chicken or veggie)

salt & pepper

hot pepper sauce of your choice (i prefer cholula, the best hot sauce on earth, that’s just me)

rinse and drain peas. in a large skillet over low-medium heat add bacon to pan. remember you are rendering the fat from the bacon. it’s important to cook it on the slow side, otherwise you end up with most of the fat still clinging to the meat of the bacon instead on as liquid in the pan. when bacon is crisp, remove meaty pieces and set aside to drain on paper toweling. alternatively, you can leave them in the pan, but since i prefer my bacon a bit crisp, not limp, i take it out and add it back in at the end of cooking. add diced onion and cook until softened and translucent. add stock and peas. bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer peas until desired tenderness, about 15-20 minutes, checking liquid level and adding more stock (or water) as necessary. i like them a little firm, but this is not the usual texan way. add bacon back in (if removed) and season with salt & pepper. serve with a little pot likker (some of the cooking liquid, i know it’s not greens but, hey…it’s good), hot sauce, and corn bread to sop it all up.

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Filed under bacon, beans, side dish

tip o’ the week-bakin’ bacon!

bakin' bacon1

we all know that it ain’t that hard to make..i mean, cook bacon. put it over a heat source, don’t burn it, and you’re home free. but having the ability to cook bacon when you have a crowd for breakfast and want to spend time with them or are making several other items simultaneously makes this method of particular interest. this way of cooking bacon was introduced to me by my mother-in-law, from here on in to be known as my MIL. she is a wonderful cook, although she will tell you she is not, and she is very patient in the kitchen, which (mostly) i am not, and perhaps most importantly, she likes to drink wine with me when we are cooking together, which makes it so much fun to be in the kitchen with her. plus i get the scoop on the family secrets, which is extremely important. she is very generous, will do anything for you and when i need help understanding why houston did or did not do something, i ask about family history. she knows it ALL, let me tell you. 

MIL

here she is making bouquets for my wedding–she’s the best.

bakin' bacon3

ok, so here’s what you do. preheat your oven to 375 degrees. line a baking sheet with heavy duty aluminum foil. this is important because the grease won’t soak through and when you’re finished, you just throw away the foil and put the pan back in the cupboard. without even having to wash it, you ask? yes. amazing! and i don’t have to keep a jar of grease under my sink to help with the war effort? that’s right. whoa!

next put a baking or cooling rack on top of the foil. i happen to have one that is non-stick. this also helps in the clean-up portion of the process. lay out your bacon slices on top. i like to add freshly ground black pepper and sometimes i even add brown sugar, like my MIL does. it’s real good this way.

bakin' bacon2

then bake for about 30 minutes or so, flip bacon (i use tongs) and pepper and/or brown sugar again. put back in the oven for about 10 minutes more, depending on how you like your bacon. we like it on the crisp side around these parts.

bakin' bacon 4

the evidence. see how clean it is under that foil? oh, yeah!

disclaimer: although i have named this new feature ‘tip o’ the week’, this in no way implies that this will be a weekly feature and any reference to that fact will be disputed for the rest of eternity by myself, the author of said tips. m, kay?

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Filed under bacon

mmm…bacon.

pork-belly-packaged

if you are not a meat eater, you may want to sit this one out. i am one of those that think not much can’t be improved without the addition of bacon. a few weeks back, a few of us went in on an entire pork belly from our local farmer’s market source, richardson farms. they are friendly folks and their meat is local and hormone and antibiotic-free!

fat side up (no skin, which i guess in retrospect would have made for some pretty good cracklin’s):

pork-belly-fat-side-up

and the other side:

pork-belly-fat-side-down1

we portioned it out:

pork-belly-portioned-out

as far as our portion, we have decided to make bacon (insert joke here) and pancetta. i will update you over the next few weeks to let you know how it’s all progressing.

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Filed under bacon, meat