Monday, October 5, 2009

Peas in a pot

We love black eyed peas. Digging about in the pantry over the weekend, we discovered a half bag of dried peas. Rearranging the fridge we stumbled upon two smoked ham hocks. Knowing that we had a large bag of collard greens in the fridge, I turned to one of my favorite cookbooks, Soul and Spice: African Cooking in the Americas by Heidi Haughy Cusick. This contains a collection of recipes from South and Central America, the Caribbean, and Africa - most originating from or inspired by traditional foods prepared by slaves. Tonight's meal was courtesy of Senior Chef #2.

The Method

  1. Soak 2 C. black eyed peas overnight.
  2. Drain the peas, cover with 9 C clean water
  3. Add 1 C chopped onion, 2 cloves garlic minced, 1 green chile, 1 (we used 2) ham hocks
  4. Simmer for 45 minutes, or until the peas are tender
  5. Skim the foam from the top as you go
  6. Add 1# (or so) chopped collard greens to the pot. Simmer until tender
The Results

The peas were a bit bland. We salted. That helped but wasn't quite enough. Next came a splash of apple cider vinegar. Better. A final sprinkling of hot sauce made the dish. Even the more junior eaters among us enjoyed this seasoned version. The cornbread was also delicious. Sweet with a bit of a smoky, peppery bite from the chiles and jalapenos. The whole wheat flour also gave this a nutty, hearty flavor that paired well with the peas.

Again, the greens were delicious. We will miss them as winter (in north FL, yes) arrives and heartier veggies hold sway for a few months.

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Kudya Bwino Bwino (Eating Well) © 2009