Friday, September 17


Eating the SFA Cookbook: Spiced Pecans and Field Peas

We [my husband and I, that is] decided to use the SFA Community Cookbook as an excuse to have folks over for one more supper before our new little one occupies a good portion of our evenings. I had already decided on grilling pork tenderloin in an Indonesian ginger marinade. So I flipped through the Cookbook for ideas for sides or appetizers...and I found both.

Jessica Harris offers a tempting recipe for Spiced Pecans. You'll need to make a double-batch, so you will have something to offer your guests when they arrive. Not only does this make an appetizer that you will not be able to keep your hands out of, it's also going to be (spoiler alert, teachers/neighbors) my go-to gift at Christmas.

The spices on the pecans range from rosemary to smoked paprika and cinnamon to Tabasco. A unique blend that I would've never come up with on my own, but it works. In a major way! One thing I really love about this recipe is that you don't have to bake the pecans. All the cooking is done on the stove-top. On a hot September afternoon, not turning on the oven is welcome news.

For a side, I decided on the Crowder Peas with Potlikker from Kathy Starr. However, I couldn't find crowder peas at my local grocery, so I used black-eyed peas. I was especially excited b/c I could only find ham hocks in packages of 5 (the recipe only calls for two). It is ALWAYS a good thing to have extra ham hocks in the house. The recipe is pretty straight-forward, boil the heck out of the ham hocks. Cook down the peas. Done. It does offer a solution of what to do with all of that beautiful "potlikker." You can make dumplings (recipe for those found later in the Cookbook!) with the remaining liquid. Though I dread the disapproving look of John T ["Mr. Potlikker"] for wasting this liquid, dumplings just didn't go with the rest of my meal.

Side note: I also made the pie crust for a derby pie recipe from my mom that I've had since college. I love this pie and making the crust took it to the next level. I will never go back to store bought crust. Just felt like revisiting the idea of homemade crust (formerly mentioned with Tomato Pie), because it really does make a difference.