Monday, December 29, 2008

Black-Eyed Peas for New Years

Old times never come back and I suppose it's just as well. What comes back is a new morning every day in the year, and that's better. ~George E. Woodberry

Plan on cooking a black-eyed pea dish on New Year's Day for a little added luck and healthy fiber!

Black-eyed Peas, Ham and Sausage

1/4 pound bacon, diced
1 lb. Italian or other sausage, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1/2 lb. cooked ham, diced
1 cup sweet onion, chopped
1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
1-15 oz. can black-eyed peas
salt and pepper to taste

In a heavy saucepan, cook the bacon till it's starting to crisp. Add the sausage and ham and saute until browned. Add the onion, bell pepper and jalapeno, cook until the pepper begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add the can of black-eyed peas and simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes. Serve over rice or eat with cornbread.

Black-eyed Pea Salsa

1 (16-ounce) can black-eyed peas, drained
6 green onions, thinly sliced -white and green
One 14 to 16-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
3/4 cup chopped green pepper
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 to 2 tablespoons finely snipped fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt, cayenne pepper, and black pepper to taste

Rinse black-eyed peas under cod water and drain. Set aside. In a medium bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Stir in drained black-eyed peas. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Serve with tortilla chips.

Black-Eyed Pea Soup

1 pound dried black-eyed peas, sorted and rinsed
8 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
6 thick slices bacon
2 large sweet onions, chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 whole bay leaves
1 dried thyme, crumbled
5 cups chicken broth
3 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce

Place peas in a 5-quart Dutch oven or large pan, add cold water so it covers, and bring to a boil over high heat; cook for 2 minutes.Remove peas from the heat and let stand, covered, for 1 hour. Drain peas and rinse; return to pan, add water and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Drain peas into a bowl, reserving 1 cup liquid. Purée 1 cup peas,adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of the reserved liquid, if necessary. Cut the bacon into 1/2-inch strips, add to the pan the peas were cooked in, and cook till crisp. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper toweling to drain. In bacon drippings, sauté onions, carrots, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme over medium heat, until vegetables soften, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add reserved cooking liquid, broth, peas,and pea purée and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes. Mix in lemon juice, red pepper sauce, and reserved bacon. Heat til warmed through. Discard bay leaves and serve. Makes 8 servings.

Why are black-eyed peas a New Year's favorite? On OFL:

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