Monday, January 28, 2013

Meatless Monday - Black-eyed Peas and ?

This is a riff on Hoppin' John, the New Year's Day tradition of serving black-eyed peas with rice. You could serve these with rice. Or pasta, or potatoes, or...up to you. Pasta is the quickest. I like it on rotini, corkscrew pasta.

As discussed in our Cajun Meatloaf, this is Louisiana Style because of the combination of celery, onion, green pepper, and garlic. The first three are called the Holy Trinity and garlic is the Pope, down in Cajun country. No wonder I love the food down there!

You can use a can of cooked black-eyed peas. They are OK. I like to cook them myself and unlike many other beans, they don't require soaking, and cook in under an hour. About 45 minutes, in fact. Instructions on cooking the beans are at the end of recipe.

Though obviously not meatless, this is also a great place to use up a little bit of cooked ham, sausage, or chicken. About ¼ - ½ cup is good. Add it along with the black-eyed peas.

Louisiana Style Black-Eyed Peas
(serves 3, costs $3.10 with canned black-eyed peas)

1 15 oz. can black-eyed peas, drained (use 1 ¾ cups if you cook them yourself)
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
½ onion, chopped, about ¾ cup
½ large green pepper, seeded and chopped, about ¾ cup
2 stalks celery, chopped, about ¾ cup
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ to ¾ teaspoon salt, depending on saltiness of black-eyed peas
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf
2-3 Tablespoons of white wine, broth or water
½ to 1 teaspoon hot sauce (such as Tabasco)

3 servings pasta (6 oz. dry), cooked or 3 cups cooked rice
grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
additional hot sauce

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, green pepper, celery, and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes until onion is translucent. Add black-eyed peas, salt, pepper, the bay leaf, and a few Tablespoons of liquid. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook until black-eyed peas are hot. Remove from the heat, add hot sauce, stir, and remove the bay leaf. Serve over hot pasta or hot rice.

To cook 1 pound of dry black-eyed peas, rinse off the peas, removing any non-pea debris. Bring 4 cups of liquid (stock or water) to a boil in a 2-3 quart saucepan. Add the black-eyed peas and reduce the heat to maintain a simmer - gentle bubbling. Cook for 35-45 minutes until peas are tender. Try a few beans to make sure they are all done. If any are crunchy, cook for another 5 minutes. Drain before using. Since you won't need all the beans for this recipe, refrigerate the reminder, or freeze them. They freeze extremely well.

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