Black-Eyed Peas for New Year's Luck: A Southern Tradition With No Fergalicious
My very organic mother suddenly becomes a Southerner every
year when she cooks a giant pot of vegetarian black-eyed peas (she was born in
West Palm--hardly Loretta Lynn). Growing up, I always thought this myth of good luck was a ruse to
get me to eat yet another bean-based, health dish, but it's legit.
In their most traditional form, black-eyed peas are cooked with a ham hock (or other pork product) and served with Southern delicacies like collard greens (representing money) and corn bread. Hoppin' John also is a contender for representing the pea at its best. In short,
they're inexpensive, high in fiber and hold up well to hot sauce.
So if you need a little luck for 2011, and can't find a restaurant to serve you the little buggers on New Year's Day, I share with you my mother's semi-authentic [albeit vegetarian] recipe below. Add bacon if you like being bad.
2 cups dried black-eyed peas
4 cups water
2 bay leaves
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
½ green pepper, chopped
½ red pepper, chopped
1 plum tomato, chopped
2 TBSP Dry Sherry
2 TBSP Red wine vinegar
2 TBSP Tamari soy sauce
1 Tsp cumin
1 Tsp coriander
salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot, bring black-eyed peas, water and bay leaves
to a boil then let simmer for 1.5 hours. In separate sauce pan, sauté onions, green pepper, red pepper for five minutes,
then add garlic and plum tomato, dry and liquid seasonings. Add black-eyed peas to the pan and simmer for another 20 minutes.
Be sure to comment with all the money that fell in your lap due to this dish.