We’ve been talking about the tradition of eating black eyed peas on New Year’s Day. The symbolism of this very southern dish is interesting. You can read about the history and get my simple recipe for making a batch of black eyed peas by clicking on this link – Black Eyed Peas Recipe
You’ll also find another tasty recipe using black eyed peas in a chilled salsa style dip for a light lunch, snack, or even for dinner when cooking a big meal just doesn’t sound appealing. Click on to take a look at another southern favorite – Black Eyed Caviar
But first, here’s my recipe for an all time southern classic I know you’ll enjoy.
- 1 Tbsp peanut oil
- 1 large ham hock
- 1 medium sweet onion, diced
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 small green bell pepper, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, grated or minced
- 1 lb black eyed peas, soaked overnight and rinsed
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp dried crushed thyme
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- salt and black pepper to taste
- cooked rice to serve
- In a large pot, add the oil and the ham hock and cook on medium-high heat, turning to brown all sides.
- Turn heat down to medium and add the onion, celery, and green pepper; cook with the ham hock, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes or until veggies soften slightly.
- Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute, stirring.
- Add the black eyed peas, chicken stock, bay leaf, thyme, cayenne, salt and pepper.
- Bring mixture to a boil, turn heat to low, and simmer (with lid slightly covering pot) for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the black eyed peas are tender; stirring several times during this cooking period.
- (If the peas don’t soften before the stock evaporates, add more stock and keep simmering.)
- Serve over cooked rice.
There is a tradition here in the south of eating black eyed peas on New Year’s Day to symbolize prosperity. The source of the symbolism is interesting. You can read more about its origin, and get my favorite recipe for making black eyed peas from dried peas, by clicking this link: Black Eyed Peas Recipe
Once you get your black eyed peas cooked and ready, you’ll want more recipes. Here is a very traditional and fun recipe I know you’ll enjoy.
- 4 cups cooked and drained black eyed peas
- 1 medium sweet onion, diced small
- 2 green onions, chopped small, including green tops
- 1 red bell pepper, diced small
- 2 garlic cloves, minced or grated
- 1 Tbsp Cajun blend seasoning
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ⅓ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp black pepper
- salt to taste
- Put everything in a large glass or plastic bowl; toss gently to combine. Taste and add salt if necessary.
- Cover with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for 8 to 12 hours. (Stir a few times during refrigeration.)
- Toss gently before serving.
- Serve with crackers or tortilla chips.
p.s. Click on to see one of my other favorite recipes using black eyed peas – True South Hoppin John
Down here in the south, it’s tradition to eat greens and black eyed peas on New Year’s Day (usually served with ham and some other sides.) Black eyed peas actually have quite a long history of bringing good luck and prosperity to a number of people. Here in the south, it is most widely believed that the tradition of eating a dish of black eyed peas on New Year’s Day dates back to the time of the Civil War. Black eyed peas grow in hot climates, so when the northern troops raided the fields in the south, these ‘field peas’ were believed to be suitable only as feed for grazing cattle, leaving the crop intact. Southerners kept their crop of black eyed peas and the abundance of this crop was seen as a very welcome resource.
The symbolism grew with time and story-telling. For instance, black eyed peas swell when they are cooked, which symbolizes prosperity. Traditionally, black eyed peas are cooked along with greens such as collard or mustard, symbolizing money. The strangest symbolism is the pork. Typically, the dish is cooked with some sort of pork such as a ham hock. And since a pig digs and forages in a forward motion, pork symbolizes a positive or forward movement (progress) in the coming year. Some say the cornbread served with the meal symbolizes gold. Whatever the symbolism, one thing we know for sure – black eyed peas are a welcome sight on any New Year’s Day table.
Black eyed peas are easily fixed from dried peas. This frugal dish is another way to help ensure prosperity in the coming year. Here’s my favorite recipe.
- 1½ cups dried peas (black eyed)
- 2 cups cold water
- 1 onion
- ham hock
- salt and pepper to taste
- Chop your onion.
- Put the black eyed peas, water, onion and ham hock in a pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer on medium heat for 2 hours or until your peas are tender.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
I believe this may fall under “frugal tips”. My mother was a little girl during the depression and remembers her dad making homemade baked beans (quite a treat)! Her fondest memory was what they did when there weren’t enough baked beans left to go around. They made open face baked beans sandwiches.
Place slices of bread on baking sheet
Spread each slice with baked beans
Cut a slice of bacon in half and criss cross on top of beans.
Place under broiler till bacon becomes crisp
Of course the number of sandwiches depends on how many bbeans you have.
(Even without the bacon, makes a good treat)
- 1 cup dried red lentils
- 3 cups vegetable broth (homemade or bought)
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, roasted and chopped
- Salt and pepper
- Freshly chopped parsley
In a saucepan, cook the red lentils in the broth until soft and mushy.
Place the lentils in a food processor, together with the garlic, tomato and red bell pepper and season. Process until smooth. Arrange on a plate, sprinkle with parsley and serve with whole wheat crackers, rice crackers or crusty bread.
This was originally in the “More with Less” cookbook and this version was tweeked by my friend Elle.
Fry, drain, and crumble 2 slices bacon*.
Saute in bacon fat until tender one medium onion, chopped**.
Add one 15oz can beans***, drained, rinsed, and mashed;
Add 1 cup tomato sauce ****,
Add 1 t. chili powder*****,
Add 1/2 t. salt, and a dash of pepper.
Stir until smooth and hot.
Add 1/4 to 1/2 pound shredded cheddar cheese******
Add bacon bits.
Stir until cheese is melted.
Serve over cooked rice.
* If you are going totally meatless, start with 2T oil and omit bacon. this dish is great for lent
** The original recipe called for half onion, half green pepper. Green pepper makes my lips itch so I left it out.
***I use red or black beans. The original recipe called for kidney beans. The original recipe also did not mash the beans.
**** An alternate, especially if you are using unmashed beans, is 2 medium tomatoes, diced, plus 1/4 c. (reconstituted) beef bouillon or tomato juice. I sometimes throw in about 1/2 t. powdered bouillon with the tomato sauce.
*****Even with the medium-hot chili powder I use, this is a relatively mild dish. Heat lovers can add more to taste.
****** I use the full 1/2 # of extra-sharp cheddar. Monterey jack or pepper jack would probably work, too.
An additional advantage to this recipe is that it's quick. If all the ingredients are on hand, you can whip up the whole thing in the 20 minutes it takes the rice to cook. If you're serving a big crowd, it doubles nicely, but you need a big pan.
I just recently made Soy Milk. 1/2 half pound of soy beans makes about 12 gallon of milk.
Soak beans 24 hours, change water once in a while. rinse beans after soaking, rub them in your hands to loosen hulls, measure beans, use 1 part beans to 3 parts water.
put 1 cup beans in blender and add 2 cups water. puree as fine as possible,
pour this mixture into large pan, rinse out blender with 1 cup water.
Repeat until all beans have been blended.
Bring water to boil and simmer for about an hour, strain this mixture through cheese cloth or any porous cloth.
Let drain and then squeeze as much more “milk” out as possible.
You now have Soy milk.
The “grits” or paste that is left is called Okara and can be used in different recipes, such as cakes or cookies, I added about 1 cup full to a 4 loaf recipe for banana bread and it doesn't even show and adds extra protein. It can be added to meatloaf or any ground beef recipe to boost the protein. It takes on the flavor of whatever it is mixed with although it is visable in some mixtures such as meat sauce for spaghetti.
Ounce for ounce Soy has more protein than meat and is a staple in a Vegan diet.
- 1 can (rinsed and drained) or 1 1/2 cups cooked beans
- 3/4 cup toasted bread crumbs
- 2 eggs
- extra goodies of your choice
- seasonings of your choice
Place crumbs, eggs, extra goodies and seasonings in food processor and pulse until well combined. Add beans and pulse until texture that you want, beans should still be a bit chunky for texture.
Form into 4 patties and brown in a drizzle of oil on both sides in an ovenproof skillet. Finish off in a 375* oven for 10 – 15 minutes. Serve on a whole grain bun with toppings of your choice.
Extra goodies can be leftover brown rice, corn, any leftover bits of vegetables that you might otherwise put into soup. All vegetables should be precooked. Your mixture should be moist but still able to form into patties. Once they are browned on the first side, they will be easier to handle. These don't shrink like meat so make them in sizes to fit your buns.
My family's favorite version is black beans with chopped onion, a bit of brown rice, and 1 tsp of cumin for flavoring. These are healthy, low-fat, filling, and delicious. Quick and easy and cheap to make. A great way to use up bits of this and that sitting in the frig and a nice change from “leftovers soup”.
- 1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 water (or more, if you like it creamier)
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2-4 Tbsp tahini
- 1 tsp salt (since we have little children I don't add salt at the moment)
Add all ingredients into a food processor. Turn on and let process until smooth, stopping several times to scrape the sides. Taste and add tahina, garlic, salt and lemon juice as needed. Add water, pepper, or red pepper flakes if desired.
The Hummus will thicken after a while, so just add a little bit of water. The longer you mix it, the smoother it is (also depending on how much water you add).
As I said, over here it is a stable and it's eaten just about anytime. Goes great with Pitta-bread, meat, chicken and Fallafel.
- 7/8 cup dried pinto beans (soaked overnight) discard soaking water
- 2 1/2 to 3 cups cooking water
Cook beans in water 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours or until tender.
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 2 cups of the cooked pinto beans
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 TBSP water
- 1 tsp cumin
- dash of salt
- pinch of cayenne pepper
In a food processor, process garlic, & cooked pinto beans until smooth. Add peanut butter, lemon juice, cumin, water salt & cayenne pepper. Process until smooth. Serve as an appetizer on mini-pita breads, or crackers.
Yields approx 2 cups.
I made this up years ago when I had not-enough of a bunch of things. It's basically an extrapolated tamale pie. I'm sorry this is so long. I promise it's not difficult.
- 1 15-ounce can chili (2 cups homemade/leftover)
- 1 pound ground meat, browned and drained (beef, turkey, whatever)
- 1 15-ounce can beans, any kind, rinsed and drained (2 cups homemade/leftover)
- 1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained a little (2 cups fresh, seeded and chopped)
- 1 15-ounce can kernel corn or hominy, drained (2 cups fresh or frozen)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- your favorite recipe of cornbread batter, or 1 package mix (I prefer unsweetened)
- jalapeños to taste (I use 2-3 pickled slices, squeezed through a garlic press)
- cheese, if you wish
Alternative: Rice, cooked
**You can substitute cooked rice (or any other grain, really) for some or all of the ground meat. One pound ground meat made two generous cups of crumbled meat after browning, so substitute accordingly.
1) This is a very forgiving recipe and you can make lots of substitutions. Also, if you don't have the proportions c alled for here, it doesn't matter. It's basically stew in casserole form: You can't really go wrong.
2) No chili? Add extra tomatoes and beans, and season with chili powder to taste.
3) No meat? Add more beans (and/or cooked rice/grain).
Prepare cornbread mix according to directions on package, or make up a batch of batter.
Combine all the other ingredients except for the cheese. Mix thoroughly and spread into a 9 x 13-inch pan. Top with cheese, if you like, and then cornbread batter. Bake according to cornbread directions (everything else is already cooked, so you only have to heat up the filling and bake the topping).
This can be frozen. It works best if you freeze the filling only and add the cornbread batter before baking. You can freeze it with the batter but the cornbread won't rise and you'll get a flat crust. It still tastes fine but the texture is less appealing.
Take it out of the freezer the night before (i.e. if you need it for Wednesday dinner, take it out to thaw on Tuesday night). I thaw on the counter instead of in the fridge since it's made of pre-cooked ingredients.
- 2 quarts chicken, turkey, or vegetable stock (I used the stuff I made by boiling down our Thanksgiving turkey carcass.)
- 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes in 3/4-inch cubes (5 small – 3 large. I scrub but don’t peel them)
- 1 1/2 cups dry black-eyed peas (3-4 cups soaked, or 2 cans)
- 1/2 pound of firm sausage (I like andouille. Polish is fine, too.)
- 1/2 pound collard greens, after washing, de-stemming, and tearing into pieces (Or 1/2 a bag of frozen chopped collards)
- 1 onion
- Salt and pepper to taste
Halve or quarter sausage lengthwise and slice 1/4″ to 1/2″ thick, as you prefer. Brown it and drain it thoroughly.
Cook onion a little in a bit of the leftover sausage grease.
In a large pot, add coarsely-chopped onions and soaked beans to stock and boil, then simmer for an hour or so.
Add the potatoes and cook until they are partly done.
Add collards and cook until they are wilted.
Squash the potatoes against the side of the pot and stir them in to thicken the soup.
You can also leave the lid off and let it cook down awhile until it reaches desired thickness (I like thick soup).
This is one of the best recipes I have come across in awhile… FRIJOLES BANDERA MEJICANA – you can not only get the recipe at this link but you can see a photo of it too, taken by the guy who made the recipe!:
Editor’s note: click here for Frijoles Bandera Mejicana Recipe
Editor’s note: to order Wolgamuth (aged red pepper sauce) visit SavorWolgamuth.com
(Please note: HBHW is not affiliated with this company and receives no royalties from sales.)
Here in southern Italy, many of our dishes are simple cooking, no bells or frills. It’s the poormans diet. So we tend to cook in a simple and tasty manner, and without measuring cups or spoons.
The following is easy, just keep it covered with water and stir occasionally so no sticking happens. Below I have added a few hints to use this recipe with Lentils or white beans
- 1 lb dried chick peas (softened up overnight in water, OR if in a hurry, add 1T baking soda to water and let sit a couple of hrs, rinse well when ready to cook)
- 1-2 cloves garlic cut in half
- 1-2 medium ripe tomatoes cut in quarters
- olive oil
- salt, pepper and 1/2 bouillon cube
- (editor’s ingredient note: any type small pasta)
Lightly saute’ the garlic and tomato, just a few minutes, add rinsed chick peas, cover with water, bring to boil.
Lower heat and add salt, pepper,& bouillon cube, simmer on low heat,stirring occasionally. As the water starts getting low add more but remember to adjust salt and pepper.
They are done when you taste and are soft and tender, mix with any type of small pasta.
**Hint – an additional idea is drain but set aside the liquid, use a hand mixer and start mixing, add a ladle full of the reserved liquid as you go along, keep it a slightly runny mashed potato consistency and toss with pasta quills and serve with grated cheese on top. If you have any liquid remaining, toss in ice cube trays and freeze. Next time you make any type of dish add in a cube or 2 and will add more flavor to what your making.Nothing goes to waste.
**Hint – same process but USE White beans (soak these as you did with the chick peas)
**Hint – same recipe, same method,USE Lentils (without needing to soak) and add 1-2 bay leaves, No mashing here though.
This recipe sounds very weird and I am still trying to convince some of the more stubborn members of my family to try it but it is tasty, filling, nutritionally balanced, and best of all uses up little bits of leftovers!
- I start by boiling one or two potatoes with their skins on or if I have some boiled potatoes leftover from something else I use those.
- When the potatoes are done I add a can of my homemade baked beans. If you don’t can your own than a can of store bought works. Try to keep a 1 to 1 ratio of beans to taters. Drain the taters and pour the beans right in the pan with them and heat threw.
- While they are heating I usually boil an egg or 2 per person.
- When everything is done divide between bowls and peel the eggs. I eat my eggs squished up in the beans, some eat their eggs separate. It depends on preference.
I guarantee after you try this though you will be hooked!