Monday, January 01, 2007

Black Eyed Peas

And, I don't mean the band! Today we finished up lots of leftovers from the past few days of celebrating and I also cooked up a batch of my black eyed peas. Yes, I cooked something. It's one of a few dishes I actually know how to make, sort of a family inherited recipe from my dad. There's little to no measuring required, so I'm good with that.

For any yankees out there who need some luck and peas for next year, here's the recipe:

Take a small bag of black eyed peas and soak them at least over night. If you can find fresh ones, great, no soaking needed. Drain and save for later.

Fill up a crock pot or large pot with water, add a ham hock, bring it to a boil, and then simmer for an hour. If you don't have time for this, just skip this part and put the ham hock directly into the pot with everything else, but if you do, it will add a lot of flavor to the finished dish.

Toss peas into a crock pot, along with the ham hock, and at least a few cups of the water from the pot you just boiled the ham in.

Add the following into the pot: 1 sweet onion, chopped; a small can of tomato paste; hot cherry peppers, at least 3 big ones; dash of various seasonings such as oregano, basil, cyan pepper, paprika, and thyme; 1 bay leaf; and a liberal shaking of tobasco sauce. You can add just about any spice that sounds good too you as long as it's on the hot side and is not salt. Never, ever put salt in your peas when you're cooking them or they won't get soft. You can add salt to taste later once they are done cooking.

Put the lid on and let cook overnight on low. When you wake up in the morning, your kitchen will be filled with the smell of hot and spicey black eyed peas!

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