In the last post, we honored the New Year’s Day tradition of dining on a tasty bowl of cabbage in the hopes of finding wealth and good fortune in the coming year. Now we might as well cover our bases and will a little luck and prosperity our way in 2018 with a hearty pot of Black Eyed Peas!
New Year’s Day is probably the only time of year that most people actually think of making Black Eyed Peas. To be honest, it’s not a dish that we cook much at home, but the peas, like most other legumes (think black, red or pinto beans), can be transformed into a delicious and filling meal with minimal ingredients.
For this batch, we’ll be using a crock pot for a low and slow cooking method that basically cooks itself on auto-pilot. The most hands on part comes in the beginning, where we start to add depths of flavor by browning bacon (or your choice of salty pork) and sautéing onion, bell pepper, garlic and jalapeño in a pan with a little salt and pepper.
The pork and veggies get added to your crockpot with peas, that have been soaked in water overnight, and about 5 cups of water. I added about 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and a teaspoon of black pepper. Be careful not to over salt the pot! You will get some level of saltiness from the pork, so I’d recommend starting with just a teaspoon of salt and tasting towards the end. You can always add more salt to make it perfect for your taste.
Cook, covered, on high for 4 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. If you can stand to wait, turn the crockpot on warm and let the beans sit for another half hour or so. As they cool, the flavors really come together...and you won't scorch your tongue on a steamy bowl of beans! They taste even better the next day, so save those leftovers! Serve yourself a hearty bowl with some sweet, delicious cornbread (or even this Rich & Creamy Corn Casserole) and a little rice is always nice! Here’s to a prosperous new year!
Happy New Year from The Craft Chew!