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Black Eyed Peas

A New Year's Day Tradition.

Here's mine:

Black Eyed Peas, (Fresh, Frozen or Dried)
Bacon, (or Ham or hambone, Sausage, Tasso, etc. - spicier the better)
Chopped Onion
Fresh Chopped Jalapeno, (or serrano, cayenne, poblano, etc.)

Sorry, but I don't do measurements. Just make it how YOU like it.

Fry Bacon to render the grease and remove.
Sweat the onions in the hot bacon grease.
Add peas and water to cover by about double.
Add peppers and season to taste. I usually use S&P, and maybe a bit of Mexican Oregano or cilantro, bay leaf, etc. Just a bit to give it some "herbalocity".

For color and texture, I also sometimes add a bit of chopped sun dried tomato. Or roasted red pepper. Or a scant handful of frozen cut green beans.

Simmer until tender. It takes a bit longer for dried peas, but this is a slow dish in any case.

I strive to make every dish differently, (and obviously "better") every time, but that's the basics.

How about you? Whatcha got?

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  1. Mine are very simple and traditional.

    Dried peas, soaked over night.
    Smoked ham hock, onion, celery, pepper and water. Cook long and slow. Serve with white rice and assortment of hot sauces

    Happy New Year!

    1. I throw in some green and red diced sweet pepper, a couple hot chilies of whatever they have at the market, not habaneros, scallions, celery, onion, ham hocks, the usual seasonings, bay, thyme, black pepper, and let 'er rip slowly. This is exactly what I'm doing this year, and serving with rice, stewed greens and cornbread. Oh, and leftover cubed ham, from Christmas, in the peas added near the end of cooking. I might break out the slow cooker for this.

      1. Dried Black eyed peas, soak overnight, cook on low with a ham hock and just covered with water.

        Collards, cooked the same but add a bit of sugar, crushed red pepper and cider vinegar to the cooking broth.

        Lotsa spicy Bloody Marys with Clamato, lemon and tons of horseradish!

        1. Last year I used the cilantro rice recipe that is on chowhound somewhere (where did the recipes go on here?) and added black eyed peas that I cooked to it & served it room temp like a rice salad. I used less rice and added some halved cherry tomatoes--it was delicious. This year I am making a black eyed pea Greek salad with feta cheese, sun dried tomatoes, kalamata olives & some arugula. I actually prefer the peas cold in some type of salad or vinagrette.

          6 Replies
          1. re: sparkareno

            "I actually prefer the peas cold in some type of salad or vinagrette."

            I think that's called "Texas Caviar".

            Happy New Year everyone!

            1. re: DoobieWah

              Or ...Louisiana Caviar, or Mississippi Caviar, or Alabama Caviar, or Georgia Caviar, or Arkansas Caviar, or North Carolina Caviar, and on and on and on....depending on where one lives......

              Haaaaaaaaaaaapy New Year!!!

              1. re: Uncle Bob

                And to you, my friend from the South!

              2. re: DoobieWah

                I've been going through bags of frozen black eyed peas making varied Texas Caviar salads. You can use a lot of different things for the acid base and vary the ingredients. I like to use frozen corn in my TC on most occasions. This stuff has a bright flavor, is delicious and quite healthy for you.

                I did a TC for a New Years Eve party last year that had a Chiffonade of fresh collard greens in it so you got your collards and black eyed peas. Quite tasty.

                1. re: scubadoo97

                  i like the two-in-one approach to get your collards and peas!

                  1. re: scubadoo97

                    Man, that DOES sound good- wish I'd gotten some fresh collards today.

              3. I cook my black eyeds in a crockpot over night - no presoak. With onion and fatback. We always have greens (kale this year because I have tons), white rice, corn bread, picnic ham with a big rind. Bloody Mary's with lots of hot.

                Lots and lots of hot pepper vinegar which I have to make because apparently nobody in the PNW uses it and I forgot to beg relatives to send some to me.

                If the elders in my family were making dinner, greens would be collard only and would be cooked into something resembling pond sludge - but would taste so good~

                7 Replies
                1. re: Sal Vanilla

                  Amen to that. I usually fry up about a half pound of salt pork, pepper, saute a large Spanish onion and a green pepper in a stock pot. Then add about a gallon of veggie stock to it.

                  Once the stock reaches a rolling boil, and add a pound of dried black eye peas along with a couple of teaspoons of hot vinegar. Let it return to a rolling boil, and then after a few minutes, turn down the heat, and let it simmer for a few hours.

                  The night before, I usually add the other half pound of the salt pork (and about half of the bottle of vinegar hot sauce) to the bunch of diced collard greens in my crockpot (turnip greens work well also). I usually let the collards cook overnight, until they turn the water nice and green. You need to cook the hell out of the greens in order to get the "pot licker"....

                  1. re: deet13

                    You know what... I think I am gonna do it your way this year. We have company coming the night before, but they are coming again the following day so they can just put up with the smell. I never smell greens cooking, but my husband informs me there is a smell. Baby.

                    1. re: Sal Vanilla

                      I love that slightly sulfurous and vinegary aroma that comes from cooking collard greens.

                  2. re: Sal Vanilla

                    I use my slowcooker all the time; why haven't I thought to do my b-e peas in it? I'm going to tonight. I have some pork belly. I think I'll fry that up with the onions and put that in with the peas. Thanks, SV.

                    1. re: Sal Vanilla

                      Question please. I'm wondering if I should use much less water than usual. I would think not. They're still going to absorb the same amount. Right? Any guidance would be appreciated.

                      1. re: c oliver

                        yes, if its not too late, use the same amount of water, it will be great!

                      2. re: Sal Vanilla

                        The dogs let us sleep in til almost 8 this morning! First thing I did was sample the peas. (Hey, I'm a Southern girl and can eat them any time of day, hot or cold. My daddy said that if I died before he did he wasn't going to bury me, he was going to have me stuffed with black-eyed peas.) They're perfect. I cut up a good-sized piece of pork belly into pretty small pieces and chopped half a large onion. Cooked them til the meat was pretty brown and the onions clear and browning. Stirred those into the dry peas in the SC and added roughly two quarts of water. Set in on low and now 12 hours later I have beautiful peas with a much brown liquid than I normally have. I usually salt up front but didn't this time. I think the peas are more intact but that could well be because of the really low cooking temp. Thanks for this great little tip. Happy New Year's.

                      3. Cook the peas then food process them. I add Italian Onion, peppers, tomato a bit of cream cheese and a sheet of gelatin. Mold using my Texas mold.

                        I also make a black eyed pea cheesecake. The third item is normally black eyed pea corn bread with spicy sausage.

                        1. Black Eyed Peas
                          Andouille Sausage
                          Chopped Onion

                          My husband used to hate BEP, but mine have let him forget the abominations that his Mother cooked (which were Black Eyed Peas, cooked until they were mush)

                          1. I made the Hoppin' John similar to others here but I used a pressure cooker, that way there is no need to soak the black-eyed peas.

                            1. I have dried black eyed peas soaking now. I have read that I shouldn't salt them at all. Do you add salt?

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: Sensuous

                                Some people feel salt will toughen beans. I generally add salt to beans at the end of the cooking cycle. When I use a smoked ham hock I don't salt at all - the ham gives enough salt and flavor.

                                I find the simpler the better. When beans cook long enough they create an amazing broth on their own.

                                1. re: Sensuous

                                  I add salt, because if they're sodium-free they don't taste good to me, and besides, how tough could the skins get? I've never noticed a difference, except when i've waited till the end to salt them- bland on bland. The skins? Maybe I'm not that particular but have not noticed much if any difference.

                                  1. re: EWSflash

                                    Me too - always salt with kosher salt at the beginning, never had a tough bean. I cook mine with garlic, onion, green pepper, a smoked pork chop or two (not so fatty), thyme, black pepper and crushed red pepper, served with rice, hot sauce and chopped sweet onions. Hot jalapeno cornbread, turnip greens with turnips cooked a little spicy, cabbage b/c my husband loves it, and a pork roast cooked slowly in the oven. Then pork roast shredded and heated with barbeque sauce for sandwiches later in the weekend. Yummy.

                                    1. re: bayoucook

                                      Sounds good!
                                      The chopped onion goes without saying!
                                      I wish my family liked turnip greens. I love them with cornbread.

                                  2. re: Sensuous

                                    Thank you, meatn3 and EWSflash.
                                    I soaked the dried peas for about three hours then drained them, covered them with water and put them in a slow cooker on the lowest setting. I added a few slices of bacon, a bay leaf, and salt and left them to cook overnight. I was concerned they might be mushy this morning but they are perfectly al dente right now. The salt didn't appear to toughen them in the least. They should be delicious later over plain rice. We will have baked chicken and a saute of spinach and arugula on the side.
                                    Happy New Year!

                                  3. Similar tradition in the West Indies except it's black eye peas and rice in one pot cooked in coconut milk. Salt pork and salted pig tails are used for flavoring along with lots of green herbs and hot peppers.

                                    2 Replies
                                      1. re: Sensuous

                                        It certainly is and just the thing to absorb all the indigenous rum inspired cocktails that is so popular on old years night.

                                    1. Black eyed peas are "lobhia" in the Hindi language, and it's easy for me to make saag-lobhia (BEP with greens), North Indian style, as a new year's day dish. It's predictable, but very easy.

                                      Beans of all kinds are our staple food, and I cook them several times a week. I always add salt while cooking, and have never experienced any problems.

                                      Happy 2011 to all, with much good eating, and good health to enjoy it, and good family and friends to enjoy it with!

                                      11 Replies
                                      1. re: Rasam

                                        BEP north indian style sounds good. care to share a recipe?

                                        1. re: alkapal

                                          Hi Alka: it's a very basic "masala anything" recipe. I cook this by instinct, not quantities, so adjust as you like:

                                          2 cans BEP (I think these are 14 or 15 oz? - just the regular cans)
                                          1 can petite diced tomato, or equivalent fresh chopped
                                          1 bunch spinach, 1/2 bunch collards, 1/2 bunch mustard or turnip greens, 1/2 bunch cilantro - all finely chopped

                                          Grind in a processor or blender:
                                          2 onions (medium sized, about the size of my fist, or whatever you think is equivalent)
                                          1 inch ginger
                                          3 cloves garlic
                                          1-2 hot green chillies (optional)

                                          Keep ready:
                                          1 tbsp cumin-coriander powder
                                          1 tbsp good quality garam masala
                                          1/2 or 1/4 tsp red chilli powder (adjust to taste)
                                          1/4 tsp turmeric

                                          Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pot, when hot, add the ground onion, ginger, garlic. Saute long and slow until well browned and cooked.
                                          Add the cumin-coriander powder, red chilli, turmeric, and saute a minute or so until the raw smell goes.
                                          Add the tomatoes and stir well to mix and cook. Simmer about 5 minutes.
                                          Add the drained and rinsed BEP (you can use equiv soaked and cooked from scratch), mix.
                                          Add just a little water and simmer 5 mins.

                                          Add the chopped greens, cover, and cook ~ 20 minutes until thoroughly done.

                                          Add salt, add garam masala, simmer 1 minute more, and done.

                                          Serve hot with the usual accompaniments.

                                          You can use any mix of greens you like. You can sub cumin seeds + coriander pwdr for the cumin coriander pwdr. This is a very forgiving recipe, but tastes great and is healthy too!

                                          1. re: Rasam

                                            oh thanks rasam! i'll bhuna the onion & spices in a skillet, then toss some dried beans with the collards into my pressure cooker along with the onion mixture. what do ya think?

                                            1. re: alkapal

                                              That does sound excellent. I really, really like recipes with a touch of the familiar(black eyed peas, collards) combined with a different set of seasonings.

                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                HI Alka: you could cut down the steps by:

                                                1. Bhuno-ing the onions etc in the bottom of a pressure cooker for less time than you would take in a skillet.
                                                2. Add masalas and saute
                                                3. Add water and soaked BEP to the pc and cook till BEP are done (This will allow the flavours of the onion and the masalas to permeate the BEP a little more).
                                                3. When the pc is open, then add the tomatoes and collards and cook for a little more time. I wonder whether adding the collards in at the same time as the BEP will just turn the collards to mush - but if you think it will work, add them at the same time.
                                                But make sure and add the tomatoes later, as I've heard that the acid will delay the cooking of the beans (never had the guts to experiment).

                                                1. re: Rasam

                                                  yes, i was wondering about the tomatoes, but since it is being pressure cooked -- and since jacques pepin made "all in one chili" in a pressure cooker the other day, i figured that the tomato could go in.... and he didn't even soak the beans first. half a package of kidney beans got 3 cups of water, onion, can of tomatoes, tomato paste, 1# ground beef, bay leaf, chili powder, garlic, etc.... sure looked good! everything jacques does looks good (well...virtually every thing).

                                                  back to the topic: maybe i'll half cook the beans, then de-pressure, then add collards and re-pressure. it will be an experiment, for sure! thanks for the tips! happy new year!

                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                    Good luck, and do try the tomato-at-beginning method and tell me if it works....

                                                    Did Jacques Pepin's kidney beans unsoaked and cooked with tomato come out creamy soft or slightly crunchy? I am totally habituated to creamy soft beans, and the idea of crunchy textured beans gives me a stomach ache :)

                                                    Happy new year to you too!

                                                    1. re: Rasam

                                                      GREAT success, Rasam!

                                                      Bhuna'd coriander and cumin in oil in bottom of cooker. Added 2 T Indian garlic paste. Cooked for a minute or so. Added one med-large chopped yellow onion (cup+ 1/4?), 1/2 sliced jalapeƱo, 1 dried red chili pepper (2" long). Added 2 t kosher salt. Got onions to translucent, heading toward getting caramel on edges. Dumped in half pack unsoaked dried black-eyed peas and about 3 C water. Pressured 19 minutes on high. De-pressured, added one large bunch of collards that I had sliced in chiffonade, then cut across that. Added 1 can stewed tomatoes. Pressured 14 minutes.

                                                      DELICIOUS! I forgot the ginger & garam masala, but still it was quite lovely. Mr. Alka raved -- and he doesn't do that about vegetables. It was a very hearty, satisfying dish -- and not a bit of meat or animal fat in it. Many thanks. It is IN the rotation.

                                                      Beans were soft and only a couple I saw were split open. Next time, I'd use more beans. One could also add a firm tofu once pressuring was done, to absorb the flavorful liquid (which wasn't much -- it was like a mess o' beans and greens with some savory veg broth).

                                                      It is versatile, so I can anticipate all sorts of beans & greens this year. Thanks again.

                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                        I am glad it worked and that Mr Alka approved. The general recipe is so easy and so forgiving that I am glad to find other fans.

                                                        And yes, it is dead easy to be veg*n with recipes such as this. Do tell me which other bean+green combination works for you with this recipe.

                                                        Small point, which will not affect the cooking: it is more grammatical to say "bhuno-ed" than "bhuna-ed" (even though we are mixing two languages in that word). :)

                                                        1. re: Rasam

                                                          i've only seen "bhuna" in my indian cookbooks, so that is why i use that. it is a translation from hindi, i presume, and is done phonetically (and thus may have some slight wiggle room)? http://www.encyclo.co.uk/define/Bhuna

                                              2. re: Rasam

                                                I tried this out today and it was really excellent. Really great stuff. Thank you for posting this. I used two serranos for my chiles, and the liquor had a very nice spice level to it- enough to offset the muskiness of the collards without being overwhelming.

                                          2. I make a great salad from The Jimtown Store Cookbook - b-e peas, wild rice,ham, chopped onion, celery, and a maple-mustard vinaigrette. Just finished off the New Year's version for lunch today. Deelish. No need to soak the peas, or cook for long - about half an hour gets them where they need to be. The rice, now that's another story!

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Splendid Spatula

                                              I've been cooking black-eyed peas for aobut half a century and can't imagine only half an hour. No way.