NEW YEAR'S DAY BLACK-EYED PEAS
I was never a big fan of Black-Eyed Peas. I didn't like them growing up. But my Grandfather, Papa O, being from the South, always ate them on New Year's Day for Good Luck. Both he and my Mom would always ask if we had our Black-Eyed Peas on that first day of the New Year. So, to make sure I could answer yes, I would buy a can, open them, heat them up, and take a spoonful. Canned Black-Eyed Peas? No wonder I didn't like them.
By the way, Black-Eyed Peas are not peas at all, they are legumes, and a sub-species of the Cowpea. Besides being a Southern Tradition on the first day of the New Year to ensure Good Health and Wealth, there are other reasons to eat them. They are good for you. You can find some of the health benefits at WebMD.
Eventually, I started experimenting with some of the recipes I found on-line. And the dish became edible. But I was still searching for something that my family and I actually enjoyed. So I decided to play with some familiar flavors, and give my recipe a bit of a Southwest Tex-Mex twist. I added Smoky Bacon, my Chipotle Pepper Sauce, Smoked Paprika, Pepper Jack Cheese, and Cilantro. Bingo! We had a winner that the family enjoyed.
Traditionally, Black-Eyed Peas should be the first thing you eat in the New Year. Whether they are eaten just after Midnight, or with Breakfast, make them part of your New Year's tradition, and you may just reap the rewards of good health and wealth in the coming year.
Give this recipe a try, and let me know what you think...
- 1# of your favorite Bacon, cut into ¼” strips
- 1 medium Yellow Onion, chopped
- 2 TBS Olive Oil
- 1 TBS Christopher Ranch Crushed, or Chopped, Garlic in Oil
- 1 tsp Smoked Sweet Spanish Paprika
- 2 (12oz) bags frozen Black-Eyed Peas
- Chicken Stock
- 1 TBS Better than Bouillon Chicken Base (Low Sodium option)
- 3 cups Hot Water
- 1 TBS Golden Toad Prime Steak Rub
- 1 TBS Golden Toad Chipotle Pepper Sauce
- 6-8 oz chopped Collard Greens (frozen will work)
- For serving
- Pepper Jack Cheese, grated
- Fresh Cilantro, chopped
- Bottle of Golden Toad Chipotle Pepper Sauce
- Pre-heat Oven to 350°.
- On stovetop, use a 5-6 qt Dutch Oven to cook bacon over Medium-High heat. Cook bacon until browned but not too crispy.
- While bacon is cooking, heat up Water and Chicken Base (microwave water to a boil and stir in Chicken Base) and set aside.
- Wash Collard Greens, remove leafy areas from thick stems, discard stems, chop leaves, and set aside.
- Remove Bacon from Dutch Oven and set on paper towels. Remove excess bacon fat from Dutch Oven. I leave about 1 TBS for cooking the onions.
- Add Onion and 1 TBS Olive Oil to Dutch Oven and sauté until translucent.
- Add the remaining 1 TBS Olive Oil, Paprika, and Garlic and stir constantly for 5-10 seconds. Do not burn these two ingredients! Stir constantly.
- Return Bacon to Dutch Oven, add Black-Eyed Peas, Chicken Stock, Prime Steak Rub, and Chipotle Pepper Sauce. Stir together and bring to a simmer.
- Add Collard Greens, stir, cover, and place in oven for about 1-¼ to 2 hours until the Black-Eyed Peas are cooked to your liking. Stir at 1 hour, then stir and check for doneness every 15 minutes. Avoid removing the lid too often. Add more water if needed.
- I usually find that 1-¼ to 1-½ hours is enough for mine.
- This recipe is designed to cook off a good portion of the liquid. It is not a "soupy" finished product, but you could add more water if desired.
- Serve topped with grated Pepper Jack Cheese and Chopped Cilantro. Add Chipotle Pepper Sauce as needed.
Best wishes for a Happy, Healthy, Prosperous New Year!