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Black-eyed Peas

There are great recipes out there using black-eyed peas. You can fry, bake, or pickle them.

Most everyone is familiar with using them in Hoppin’ John, a meal consisting mostly of black-eyed peas and rice. There are variations of what to add to them including the following: peppers (bell or spicy), onions, celery, ham, or corn. You can season them with salt, pepper, ground mace, nutmeg, or cumin.  Sauce them up with just the water you cook the peas in or add broth, ketchup, tomato paste or tomato sauce.  Throw in a couple bay leaves, basil or garlic.  Vegetable or olive oil is also an option.

When cooking black-eyes that start out dried, remember that one cup of dried peas can equal 1/2 pound and will yield about 2 1/2 to 3 cups cooked, or 4 servings.  Cooking time is approximately 40 minutes.*  Purchased in a bag, there will be cooking information and even a recipe.  Canned black-eyes taste fine simply heated although we enjoy them spice them up with a little tabasco and maybe some salt & pepper.  Other times, my husband likes to make “Texas Caviar”.  He usually just uses a recipe from the internet as long as we have the ingredients.  Some recipes are simpler than others.  They’re all good.  Here’s one that I’ve adapted to what is currently in our pantry.

Ingredients

  • 2 (15 ounce) cans black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans white corn, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles, your preference: drained or undrained
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced (you may want to add more of these peppers)
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 bunch cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup light olive oil
  • white sugar to taste
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
 Directions
  1. Mix the black beans, white corn, green chiles, red and green bell peppers, red onion, and cilantro together in a large bowl.
  2. To make the dressing, stir the rice vinegar, olive oil, sugar, and garlic together in a separate bowl and mix until blended well.  Pour over bean mixture and chill for one hour.  Serve cold with blue corn chips.

*this information derived from Joyce White’s “Soul Food: Recipes and Relections from African-American Churches”, which is a great cookbook.

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