Tag Archives: Black-eyed pea

Recipe: Southern Black Eyed Peas…

Southern Black Eyed Peas…

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I have read numerous cookbooks and food blogs looking for a suitable recipe for our family’s New Years Day dinner.  There are dozens if not hundreds of recipes available.  I searched until I found a couple that had the ingredients that sounded good to me and created my own recipe.

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Don’t let the number of ingredients listed deter you from trying this recipe…It’s easier than it looks and delicious!

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Ingredients:

1# dry black-eyed peas, washed and picked
1/4 # of bacon, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
4 stalks of celery, diced
3 cloves of garlic, diced
3 qts of chicken stock (sodium free), heated and set aside
2 pinches of kosher salt
1/2 tsp of black pepper
1 tbsp of Cajun seasoning, Tony Chachere’s salt free
3 Bay Leaves
2 jalapeno, sliced
1 # pork sausage, hot and spicy

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Directions:

In a medium sauce pan heat the chicken stock and reserve for later.

Now, In a dutch oven or similar pot cook the diced bacon until browned but not crisp.  Next add the holy trinity; diced onion, bell pepper and celery to the bacon and cook until wilted.  Add diced garlic and cook for an additional minute.  Add rinsed black-eyed peas to veggie mixture and stir thoroughly for 3-4 minutes.  Begin adding the hot chicken stock to the peas and veggies (reserve 2 cups of liquid, you will probably need it later)..next add the salt, pepper, jalapeno, bay leaves and seasoning. Bring the pot to a roiling boil, reduce the heat and simmer partially covered.  Cook for 1 hour and 30 minutes. In a separate pan, crumble and brown the pork sausage.  Drain the fat and set the sausage aside until needed.

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After the peas have cooking for an hour you may need to add more chicken stock if the mixture has gotten too thick.  Also add the cooked pork sausage stir and  continue cooking for an additional 30 minutes.  Now it’s time to make your cornbread or rice whichever you prefer to serve with your black-eyed peas.

Due to my Southern heritage, I would normally choose rice over anything else …growing up in the south rice is as common on the dinner table as salt and pepper…however, you may want to forgo the rice with this dish so that you can enjoy more of the peas. Yes they are that good…and filling!

Now it’s time to Enjoy!

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New Years Day, Food for the Soul…

The New Years Day menu is steeped in age-old tradition as well as a little bit of superstition.  I don’t go in for superstition but I am big on traditions…and of course the one tradition that seems to unite the world is one that is tied to food.

Food for the Soul…Black eyed peas, cabbage and ham or symbols of luck, prosperity, wealth and health.  It seems that the tradition of eating black-eyed peas on New Years Day began in the South in the 1860’s.  However, black-eyed peas have been part of the Jewish celebration Rosh Hoshana for hundreds of years.

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Our traditional New Year’s Day dinner included; Southern Black Eyed Peas, Grilled Cabbage, Jalapeno Deer Sausage and Cornbread.

Rabbit Trail….

“Although the terms soul and spirit are sometimes used interchangeably, soul may denote a more worldly and less transcendent aspect of a person. According to psychologist James Hillman, soul has an affinity for negative thoughts and images, whereas spirit seeks to rise above the entanglements of life and death.”

Tying it all together…

If in fact our Soul has an affinity for negative thoughts and images what better way to overcome it than to rise above the entanglements of life than by lifting our Spirits by enjoying good food that represents good luck, prosperity, wealth and health…there definitely is no harm in it.

Wishing you and your family a very Happy, Healthy, Wealthy, and Prosperous New Year! 

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A Southern Tradition…

Did you welcome in the New Year by eating a traditional meal of cabbage and black-eyed peas?  We went with the traditional meal and we added a side of good ol’  Texas comfort food, smothered steak.  So according to the old wives tale we are almost guaranteed that 2013 will be filled with comfort, luck and prosperity…Just to clarify

Comfort – contented well-being, satisfying or enjoyable experience

Luck – a force that brings good fortune, the events or circumstances that operate for or against an individual

Prosperity the condition of being successful or thriving; especially economic well-being

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You Inspired Me…to cook! Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide

Sometimes I just want to be INSPIRED… Inspired to think, to read, to dream, to act, to move, to help, to stand firm, to give or to share.

Today, I was inspired by Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide to try out this recipe for Lucky Black-Eyed Pea Cakes.  We do not eat black eyed peas and cabbage on New Years Day becaues we are superstitous.  We eat them because we are Southerners and well…its what Southerners do on New Years Day.  Well that and watch football!

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups cooked black-eyed peas
  • 2 minced serrano chiles
  • 6 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 red onion minced
  • 1 green or red pepper minced
  • 1 cup diced ham (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 to 1 cup bread crumb
  • 3-4 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

Mix garlic and serranos in a large bowl. Add peas and mash to a pulp. You can throw in the eggs at this point if it’s difficult. Once peas are mashed add eggs (if you haven’t already) ham, green pepper, onion, cilantro, salt and pepper and mix to incorporate. Add 3/4 cup bread crumbs and form into patties. Heat enough oil in a large skillet to cover the bottom f the pan and brown patties on each side, until crisp on the outside and warm inside, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Garnish with fresh pico, or hot sauce and sour cream.

The first item listed in the ingredient list is 4 cups of cooked black-eyed peas.  Therefore, this sent me in search of an easy recipe for cooked black-eyed peas.  I found one @ foodnetwork.com.  Its one of Emeril’s recipes, Stewed Black-Eyed Peas and Country Ham.  It is super simple and I had the fresh shelled peas stewing on the stove top in no time at all.  I opted to omit the bay leaves, salt and pepper from th recipe because I want all of the flavors to come from the seasoning in the recipe for in the Lucky Black-Eyed Pea Cakes.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 5 to 6 ounces (about 1 cup) roughly chopped country ham pieces
  • 1 pound dried black-eyed peas, soaked in cold water overnight and rinsed well
  • 1 quart low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 cup cold water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

In a medium stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and country ham. Add the black-eyed peas, chicken stock, and 1 cup cold water. Bring the liquid up to a boil, partially cover and reduce to a simmer. Simmer the peas for about 25 minutes, uncover and cook an additional 20 to 25 minutes, or until the peas are tender. Season the peas with salt and pepper as needed.

While the peas are cooking I will take a few minutes to take in a few minutes of the Texans Football Game.  After all it is New Years Day…

On a side note, I have been thinking about trying to narrow the focus of the nolagirlatheart blog.  If you have spent any time at all this past year reading my blog you probably noticed it all very random.  Random postings, random thoughts, random, random, random.  Not that random is a bad thing…but a little more focus could be a good thing.  I have been tossing a few thoughts around.

The one idea that has stood out more than any other is this one… “You Inspired Me…“!  Hopefully once a week I will write a post about a blogger that has inspired me to try something new.  It could be anything;  a new recipe, a photo challenge, a upcycled recycled craft, a painting technique, geochaching or zip lining in the dark.  There are so many possibilities to be inspired.

You Inspired Me...to cook!

Here is my version of Rufus’ Lucky Black-Eyed Pea Cakes along with a side of grilled cabbage!  I hope I get inspired to take better pictures, because this one needs some help.  The food was ready, the family was hungry and the flash washed out the cabbage.  The black-eyed pea cake was very tasty.  I am looking forward to having the leftovers tomorrow.

Here’s to being Inspired!!!

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