Black-eyed Peas with Dried Herbs
I love black-eyed peas. I really do and I can’t tell you what makes them so spesh, but I love the way they look in a dish, they are a delicious and essential ingredient in cowboy caviar, plus they’re a southern food staple and y’all know I have a soft spot for that region’s cuisine. Make em up fresh and you’ll get better texture than the canned stuff. Last Monday I made a big pot and D.M. and I used them in various dishes throughout the week. This is the only one that involved alcohol.
The booze: beer
The other stuff: black-eyed peas (dried or canned), bay leaves, dried whole chilis, garlic, paprika, thyme, oregano, salt, olive oil, rice
The directions: This recipe basically involves quickly throwing all the ingredients into a pan and simmering for 15 minutes or so. The only time-consuming thing here is cooking the beans and cooking the rice, so if you’re going this route, factor in the soaking and simmering and 30 minutes or so of rice cooking.
Once cooked, drain your beans and place about 2-2.5 cups in a bowl with about 1/2 bottle of beer to soak. Meanwhile, chop 2-3 cloves of garlic and heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan. When the oil is hot throw in a dried chili or two, stir once, throw in your garlic, stir once, throw in your black-eyed peas and all the beer and add 3 bay leaves and spices. I do this according to taste but roughly use 1.5 teaspoons of oregano, 1.5-2 teaspoons of thyme, 1 teaspoon of paprika, and 1.5 teaspoons of salt. Stir and let simmer for 15 minutes or so. Serve over rice with hot sauce.
The tips: Don’t be fooled by how basic this recipe is. It is delicious and light but still filling and will certainly feature in the cookbook devoted entirely to beans and rice that I will one day write (this is a good idea! why hasn’t someone already done this?).
You can mix it up by tossing in additional ingredients. The first time I made it I added a walnut sauce (walnuts, lemon juice, olive oil and salt pureed in the food processor). I bet it would also be good with any fresh herbs you have on hand. Cabbage always seems to work out when you throw it into random recipes. Next time I think I’ll add the pine nuts that have been sitting in my freezer since who knows when.