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Delta Delicious w/ Martha Hall Foose - Simple summer slow cooking

By Martha Hall Foose

Delta Delicious w/ Martha Hall Foose - Simple summer slow cooking

Lots of folks associate a slow cook with wintertime soups and stews. I seem to use mine most often in the summer months. Setting it to work in the morning frees up time to enjoy long summer evenings and keeps the oven off and the kitchen cool.

These recipes come together so easily I tend to turn to them time and again for parties, picnics and potlucks. They travel well and once cooked turning the heat to warm has them ready to serve without any muss or fuss.

 

SLOW-COOKED APRICOT PORK

This slightly sweet, savory spiced pork simmers all day and smells divine as it cooks. We like it piled up in a sandwich with some crunchy pickle relish. It is also quite good on warm corn tortillas with diced onion, fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice. Use your favorite barbeque sauce and a chunky apricot jam.

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon hot paprika

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 (6-pound) pork Boston Butt or shoulder roast

1/2 cup apricot jam

1/2 cup classic barbeque sauce

In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, paprika, salt, cumin, garlic powder and onion powder. Coat the meat with the mixture. Place the meat in a slow cooker, cover and cook on high for 8 hours. Drain the liquid from the slow cooker into a 4-cup glass measuring cup and allow it to settle while shredding the meat. Remove any excess fat and bones from the meat. Return it to the slow cooker.

Skim the fat from the reserved juices. Pour 1 cup of the juices over the meat. Toss the jam and barbeque sauce with the shredded meat. Cover and cook on high for 1 more hour and serve.

 

POTLUCK PEACH COBBLER

This recipe is so ridiculously simple it seems too good to be true.

INGREDIENTS

2 (15-ounce) cans of sliced peaches in heavy syrup

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice blend

1 (16.25-ounce) box white cake mix

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter cut into small pieces

Empty the cans of peaches with the syrup into a 4-quart slow cooker. Sprinkle the spice blend over the peaches.

Sprinkle the cake mix over the peaches. Sprinkle the butter pieces over the cake mix.

Cook on high for 2 hours or until browned.

 

PICKLE RELISH

I keep this quick, crunchy relish in the refrigerator all summer long. It is wonderful on hot dogs and hamburgers and adds zip to pulled pork sandwiches. When cucumbers start coming in and farmers’ markets have them in abundance, I whip up batch after batch. It’s hard to go back to off-the-shelf relish once you try this fresh version. It really does send chicken salad and tuna fish to another level.

INGREDIENTS

1/4 teaspoon brown mustard seeds

3/4 cup distilled white vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

1/8 teaspoon dried dill or 1/4 teaspoon fresh dill

Pinch of red pepper flakes

2 cups seeded and diced cucumber

1/3 cup finely chopped red onion

1/3 cup finely chopped orange bell pepper

1 teaspoon corn starch mixed with 1 teaspoon water

Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mustard seeds and cook until they begin to pop. Add the vinegar, sugar, dill and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil and let the liquid reduce by half, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the cucumber, onion, and bell pepper. Boil for 2 minutes. Stir in the cornstarch and water. Boil for 1 minute. Transfer the relish to a jar and allow it to cool completely before covering and refrigerating. Relish will keep refrigerated for 2 weeks.

 

Martha Hall Foose, the author of “Screen Doors & SweetTea: Recipes and Tales of a Southern Cook,” won the James Beard Award for American Cooking. Her latest collaboration is “A Good Meal is Hard to Find: Storied Recipes from the Deep South” with Amy C. Evans. Martha makes her home in the Mississippi Delta with her husband and son. She is a member of Yazoo Valley Electric Power Association.

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