Today, I am sharing a tasty black-eyed pea recipe and what we paired it with for our 2017 New Year’s Day Dinner.
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But before I do that I want to wish you a Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe, but it is 2017!
In the South, black-eyed peas are a New Year’s Day tradition and have come a long way from their lowly beginnings as cattle food. It’s thought that eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day will bring good luck and prosperity in the New Year! Since 2016 wasn’t very lucky for us (Gary’s illness, cancelled cross-country trip, kitchen mold), I thought I would try it this year.
Gary lived on them having gone to college in the South, but I must admit that I’ve never had black-eyed peas before. He was really excited when I told him that I was going to make them.
While I was looking up recipes, I did a bit of research on these nutritious little gems. They have high levels of dietary fiber, iron, folate, potassium, protein and Vitamin A, and they are relatively low in calories. They are also pretty inexpensive if your buy the dried peas.
Since I’ve never made black-eye peas before, I used the ready cooked packaged peas that I got at Trader Joe’s (baby steps). But if you are using dried peas, you will need to soak them. You can either do this by soaking them in a bowl (or pot) of water over night. Then drain and rinse the peas thoroughly with fresh water.
Yields 4 servings
1 package prepared black-eyed peas (or 1 lb. black-eyed peas can be substituted)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 strips thick sliced bacon, cut into pieces
1 medium onion, small diced
1/2 medium red pepper, small diced
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the bacon, onion and garlic to the pot and cook, stirring, until the onion and garlic are lightly browned, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the salt, black pepper, cayenne and garlic powder. Cook until the entire mixture is coated with the spices, about 2 minutes.
Add package of black-eye peas and red pepper and warm through.
Taste for seasonings and transfer the black-eyed peas to a serving bowl.
If using dried black-eyed peas, put them in a large pot and cover with about 4 inches of water. Soak the peas overnight, then drain the water and rinse. Alternatively, you can “quick-soak” the peas by bringing them and the water to a boil for 2 minutes. After this, remove them from the heat, cover the pot and soak the peas for 1 hour. Then, drain and rinse the peas.
Add 4 cups chicken broth and the prepared peas to the pot and simmer until the peas are very soft, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Our New Year’s Day Dinner Menu
In addition to the black-eyed peas, we had herb crusted beef tenderloin (this herb crust – garlic, peppercorns, parsley, and thyme – is fast becoming one of my favorites), scalloped potatoes, and honey roasted carrots.