Tag Archives: red potato

Slow Cooker Field Pea Stew


Slow Cooker Field Pea Stew



The crazy part of August has officially begun. You know, when you fit a year’s worth of doctor’s appointments, a couple hundred bucks of back-to-school shopping, and a full weekend of summer fun into the last 120 hours before school starts. If you’ve somehow managed to miss the hectic rush into autumn, please tell me how you do it. Otherwise, I’m happy to commiserate with you over a comforting bowl of this ham and field pea stew.

This recipe is one of my go-to dishes during busy times since the slow cooker does all the hard work. Field peas, potatoes, onions and garlic simmer all day in a broth flavored with ham hocks. The result is a mild stew with tender hunks of meat, creamy peas and buttery potatoes in a smokey pot likker. Besides tasting great, the recipe is also inexpensive (more money for back to school shopping!) and I can prepare the raw ingredients up to four days before I stick them in the Crock-pot (just cut everything up and stick it in a resealable plastic bag until you’re ready to go.)

I love the way ham hocks taste after all day in the slow cooker. They impart a smokey sweet flavor into all the other ingredients, and there’s no need to season the finished stew. If you don’t have ham hocks on hand, or if your family doesn’t eat pork, substitute 3 vegan bullion cubes, 2 ribs of chopped celery, 1 tablespoon brown sugar and 1 teaspoon liquid smoke for the ham hocks and go ahead with the recipe as written. Taste the stew before serving and add extra salt, pepper or liquid smoke as needed.

Slow Cooker Field Pea Stew (serves 4)

1 lb. smoked ham hocks (2-3 total pieces)
4 red potatoes, chopped
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 cups field peas
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Ingredients may be prepared up to four days ahead of time and stored together in an airtight container or gallon-sized resealable bag. When ready to cook stew, combine all ingredients with three cups of water in a three quart slow cooker. Allow stew to cook for 6-8 hours on low, undisturbed. Remove the ham bones before serving. I like to serve this dish with corn muffins.

Local Box Meal Plan: Jan. 18-22

Seems like despite the deep freeze of 2010, Texas farmers are churning out lots of yummy produce! I’m really excited about this cauliflower. I hope it comes in neon colors, like the ones I’ve seen recently at the Pearl Farmer’s Market! What can I say? I’m easily amused.

This week, we’re getting cauliflower or broccoli from Home Sweet Farm; green shallots from Acadian; green garlic from Naegelin or Green Gate Farm; a salad kit from My Father’s Farm; spinach from Oak Hill; red potatoes, garlic and mustard greens or kale from Naegelin; citrus from G&S Groves; a slicing tomato from Village Farms; and green or red leaf lettuce from Bluebonnet.

So this week, I’m making:


  • Winter bruschetta with white beans, tomato, garlic and green shallots


  • A steakhouse dinner with Caesar salad, creamed spinach and mashed potatoes with green garlic
  • Mustard green/kale gratin

Side Dish:

  • Cauliflower puree (recipe to come from my brand new Top Chef Quickfire cookbook — a gift from my wonderful husband!)


Local Box Meal Plan: Jan. 4-8

We’re back in Texas and ready to get our local produce again! According to my new iPhone app called “What’s Fresh,” we can expect lots of citrus and greens — and Greenling didn’t let us down this week.

This week, we’re getting broccoli from either Acadian or My Father’s Farm; parsley and bok choy from My Father’s Farm; Mars oranges from Orange Blossom; grapefruit from G&S Groves; sweet potatoes, red potatoes, garlic, and green onions from Naegelin; oriental turnips, escarole, and red onion from Acadian; a late tomato; and crimini mushrooms from Kitchen Pride.

So I’m making:


  • Mushroom omelette with garlic and parsley potatoes


Side dishes:

If you’re at a loss for what to do with a big bunch of parsley (other than use it as a garnish, that is), you can make a fantastic dip by chopping it up with some chives or other herbs and mixing that with some ricotta cheese.

Barbecue Salads

We had friends over in the middle of the week a few weeks ago, and while I love seeing them, it’s hard entertaining during the week! To make it a bit easier, I prepped the salads and put the pork in the slow cooker in the morning, and finished the salads when I got home from work. (If you chop the potatoes ahead of time, make sure that you soak them in water so they don’t turn brown.) With a simple green salad (the lettuce also came from our Local Box), there was plenty of food and all were happy!

Red Onion and Yellow Bean Salad



  • 1 lb. yellow beans, washed and trimmed
  • 3/4 c. red onion, diced (about half of a large onion)
  • 3 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  • Steam the yellow beans in a steamer basket over a pot of salted boiling water for 7 minutes, or until the beans are tender, but al dente.
  • When the beans are still warm, toss with the onion, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Let sit for at least an hour before serving.

Herb Potato Salad



  • 1 lb. red potatoes, roughly chopped (I don’t peel them.)
  • 4 Tbsp. chopped herbs (I used dill, but chives, parsley, cilantro, or thyme would be great here, too.)
  • 3/4 c. red onion, diced (about half of a large onion)
  • 1/3 c. mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp. dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  • Boil the potatoes in salted water for 10 minutes, until the potatoes are tender and can be pierced easily with a fork.
  • Drain the potatoes and toss them (while still warm) with the remaining ingredients. Adjust ingredients to taste, if necessary.
  • Serve at room temperature.

Local Box Meal Plan: Dec. 7-11

Now that I’m back, I can’t wait to start getting Greenling boxes again! I’ve supplemented with veggies from the Pearl Farmer’s Market, but there’s something to be said for local produce on your doorstep.

What I like about local, seasonal produce is how it seems like what you’re “supposed” to eat is what’s available. The first night of Hanukkah is on Friday, and this week we’re getting potatoes and onions (the key ingredients in latkes) and apples (for applesauce). Maybe it’s a coincidence, but I’d like to think otherwise.

This week, we’re getting red potatoes and yellow onions from Naegelin, sweet Italian peppers from Lundgren, apples from Top of Texas, beets and icicle radish from My Father’s Farm, cucumbers from Home Sweet Farm, Bibb lettuce from Bella Verdi, Louisiana scallions from Acadian Family Farm, rainbow baby carrots from Animal Farm, and Hachiya persimmons from Indian Hill.

For Hanukkah dinner on Friday, I’m making:

  • Brisket with baby carrots
  • Latkes with red potatoes and yellow onions (I’ve been sworn to secrecy so I can’t share my family’s recipe, but I’m sure googling will produce lots of recipes for you to try!)
  • Applesauce
  • Bibb lettuce salad with cucumbers, scallions and radishes

For the rest of the week, I’m making:

  • Arugula salad with roasted beets and goat cheese
  • Stuffed pepper casserole
  • Persimmon bread (if the persimmons aren’t ripe enough, I’ll store them in a paper bag on the counter for a few days. They need to be quite ripe for baking.)

If anyone saw Top Chef last week, Kevin made what looked like a very cool puree from the carrot tops, so I’m going to try my hand at something like that under a panseared fish. Don’t want to waste good produce!