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Spicy Black-Eyed Peas
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    Spicy Black-Eyed Peas

    • 1 pound dried black-eyed peas, picked over
    • 2 tablespoons rendered bacon fat
    • 1 small onion, peeled

    Pickled black-eyed peas:

    • 1 recipe black-eyed peas, or three 16-ounce cans, rinsed and drained
    • 1/2 small green bell pepper, minced (about 1/2 cup)
    • 1/2 small red bell pepper, minced (about 1/2 cup)
    • 4 scallions including green parts, sliced thin
    • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 1 teaspoon minced seeded habanero or other fresh hot chili, or to taste (wear rubber gloves)

    In a bowl combine black-eyed peas with water to cover and let stand overnight.

    Drain peas and in a 4-quart saucepan, combine with water to cover by 2 inches. Add bacon fat and onion. Simmer mixture, covered, 30 to 40 minutes, or until peas are tender, and drain well, discarding onion.

    In a bowl, combine all ingredients with salt and pepper to taste and toss well. Chill mixture, covered, for at least 5 hours and up to 2 days.

    Serve black-eyed peas chilled or at room temperature.
    Serves 8

    This is a basic recipe. The black-eyed peas may also be cooked with a ham bone, a precooked ham hock, or with olive oil instead of bacon fat. This last sacrifices the traditional smoky taste to contemporary concerns about cholesterol, but whatever way black-eyed peas are served, they're delicious.

    Black-eyed peas can even be pickled, as in this recipe, which also goes by the name of Texas caviar. The dish can be prepared with either cooked dried black-eyed peas, canned ones, or, if you are really lucky and live in an area where they can be obtained, with fresh ones.

    From:Gourmet February 1995
    Posted By:Jessica B. Harris

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