Friday, January 02, 2009

Blackeyed Peas

My Canadian friend, Susanne and my Hoosier friend, Linda asked for my blackeyed pea recipe. I really don't have a recipe, but I'll try my best to share how I make them.

You will need:

One 16 oz. bag of dried blackeyed peas (unless it is New Year's Eve and you have no other choice, always, always use dried blackeyed peas) You may want to use half a bag. A whole bag is a mess of peas. But, they're good, so they won't go to waste. I promise!

Chicken bouillon cubes

Ham pieces for flavor (ham hocks are best, but you can go with any kind of smoked ham)

Salt and pepper to taste

First, wash the dried peas, remove any debris or rocks. Yes, I have found small rocks before in a bag of peas. I didn't know rocks grew in the garden. Did you?

Wash and drain the peas with a colander 2-3 times.

Next, place the dried peas in a medium saucepan, cover well with water. Bring the water to a boil. Boil for one minute. Turn off the heat, cover and let them soak for several hours or overnight. This will shorten the actual cooking time. (Soaking the peas allows them to expand.)

Drain the peas once again in a colander.

Fill a saucepan with about 4-6 cups of water. (The key is to make sure you have enough water for the peas to simmer and not burn.) Add bite size ham pieces, 2 chicken bouillon cubes. Add about a teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil. Add the peas. Return to a boil, cover, then cook on medium heat until peas are tender.

You will have to season the peas as they cook. Taste, then add salt and pepper as needed. I'm sorry that my recipe isn't an exact science. Just taste and season as you like. A lot depends on how salty your ham is.

Important- WATCH THE WATER LEVEL! The odor of scorched peas will remain in your house for a least a year. Well, maybe not. But, you don't want this smell in your house. Plus, you just ruined a perfectly good pot of peas!

If using ham hocks for seasoning, I remove them before serving. Otherwise, I just leave the ham pieces in the peas to serve. YUM!

Never drain the cooked peas before serving. The yummy broth that is formed is perfect for sopping with a good piece of cornbread!

Tip: Sometimes, for whatever reason, dried peas or beans can have an "earthy" or "dirt" taste. To solve this problem, I add a pinch of sugar. Works every time.

I love my peas over rice. Some people call this Hoppin' John. My people just call it good.

Let me know if you try the recipe!


Susanne said...

Yummy. I'll have to look for dried blackeyed peas, never canned, at the grocery store next trip!

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Your sphere of influence is pretty much world-wide, since it includes Susanne and me. I'm gonna try this. Because who can resist the temptation/challenge of rocks, dirt and possible burnt stench in one meal? Brang it on, sista. What do you serve with this?

Melanie said...

Girl, you sound like the southern girls that we are:) I didn't make blackeyes for New Years but we love 'em here at our house too. Over rice by the way! Happy New Years!

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

I didn't make black eyed peas Thus. Just didn't get it together beforehand. And now I am kinda paranoid that 2009 will be cursed because of my negligence.

When I am a good wife and mother, we eat them with cornbread. Never ever had them over rice. Hmmm.

Kim Layton said...

We love are blackeyed peas around here! I'd love to have you visit Tasty Tuesday with one of your recipes! Thanks for sharing!