Black Eyed Peas Do Not Taste Like Dirt

I decided to take a bit of a holiday hiatus this year. I’m sure everyone was just fine without another complex cookie recipe or ideas for creating a feast inspired by your Estonian ancestors. I leave that to others who are braver and more organized than I.

I for one become terribly overwhelmed by all the culinary possibilities. So overwhelmed that I become paralyzed, can’t make a decision and end up having cereal for Christmas dinner. That’s not really true since I never eat cereal. But I do become overwhelmed and fall back on the recipes that I’ve made year after year and love. Perhaps that’s how traditions are started. By overwhelmed cooks who can’t handle one more idea about glazing a ham so they use their grandma’s Coke glaze and everyone is happy.

And then there’s New Year’s

So then New Year’s rolls along. I’m not a big fan. People feel compelled to go out and get all ‘Harry Met Sally’ and then are bitterly disappointed. If nothing else I thought I should make some type of food that is consider to bring luck in the New Year. And if you know me at all I’m a girl who needs all the luck she can get. Apparently there are a multitude of lucky foods you can make to bring prosperity in to your life. Including kale chips (seriously. can we all get over the kale chip. and since when is that lucky?), sauerkraut (it’s only good if it’s the food of your people), champagne jello shots with grapes (I am totally not making this up) and of course the luckiest of all foods chilled wasabi peanut citrus soba noodles with mushrooms (who has the time? especially if you’ve taken up residence on the couch and are binge watching Luther).

And then there is the noble black eyed pea. An old school favorite. Nothing fancy. Just a pea. I decided I could wrap my brain around that. A lovely friend of mine in the blustery, brutal polar vortex of Rochester, NY sent me a recipe for…BBQ Baked Black Eyed Peas. I was so excited about the recipe and my impending good luck that I ran out and bought the ingredients and started cooking. Once I put Luther on pause.

I know New Year’s is just a blur at this point. But you can always use some good luck. This dish is ridiculously good!!! Serve it with meat, chicken, over rice, tortilla chips (idea courtesy of my friend’s husband). If you live in PDX put a fried or poached egg on it.

And this recipe is perfectly adaptable for my veg, vegan friends. Use chorizo and bacon crumbles (aka tofu of some kind seasoned to taste like something other than tofu). Use vegan Worcestershire.

As for tasting like dirt…a friend of mine who may very well be the most healthy person I know informed me that ‘black eyed peas taste like dirt.’ I really should bring her some of these to try. Maybe she’ll be convinced otherwise.

BBQ Baked Black Eyed Peas

Ingredients:
1 pound dried black-eyed peas or 3 (15-ounce) cans black-eyed peas
1 tablespoon kosher salt
12 ounces thick-cut uncooked bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup prepared mustard
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
2 cups bean liquid, water

Method:

If using dried black-eyed peas, rinse the peas and place in a large ovenproof pot. (I actually did this by the way. I didn’t opt for the easy route of using tinned beans. If that actually made a difference? Who knows?) Cover with one inch of water and add the salt. Bring the pot to a boil, cover the pot and turn the heat down to low. Simmer the pot covered for 1 hour and then remove the lid. Continue to simmer the peas until tender and soft (but not completely mushy), which can take anywhere from 30 more minutes to 1 1/2 hours, depending on the age of the peas. (If the water gets too low, add a little more to the pot). When the peas are tender and soft, drain the peas reserving the cooking liquid. If using canned black-eyed peas, simply drain them, also reserving the liquid.

To make the barbecue baked black-eyed peas, preheat the oven to 350°F. In the same pot that you cooked the peas, on medium-low heat, cook the chopped bacon while occasionally stirring just until some of the fat is rendered, but not crisp, about 3 minutes. You want it to be underdone. Remove the bacon from the pot with a slotted spatula, and place on a paper-towel lined plate leaving the rendered fat in the pot. Leaving the pot heated on medium-low, add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 more seconds. Turn off the heat.

I also cooked up some lovely chorizo for an added bit if smokiness and spice. 

Pour the black-eyed peas into the pot. Add the tomato sauce, vinegar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, molasses, chili powder, cayenne, bacon, and 2 cups of the reserved bean liquid (if there’s not enough add water to make up the difference). Stir until well combined. Taste and adjust seasonings, and add salt.

Cover the pot and place in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes covered. After this time, remove the lid and continue to cook uncovered for 30-45 more minutes or until the beans are your desired consistency.

Crazy good!

Recipe courtesy of http://www.homesicktexan.com

Image courtesy of me. It’s kind of ugly isn’t it? I really need to learn to plate in a pleasing manner.

Until next time Moose out

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