Black-Eyed Peas

Blackeye PeasOn New Year’s Day 2010, my sister Kristen improvised some fantastic black-eyed peas, and I took down the recipe.  Enjoy!

Several cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small/medium yellow squash, diced
2-4 Tbsp bacon grease
½ cup diced carrot
½ cup diced zucchini
½ cup chopped celery
Other vegetables as desired (e.g., green beans)
2-3 cups vegetable or beef stock, plus more as needed
½ cup diced ham
½ tsp oregano
½ tsp ground coriander
1 Tbsp ground chili powder
1-2 sprigs of fresh thyme, or ¼ tsp dry
1 sprig of fresh rosemary, or ½ tsp dry
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp white pepper
¼ tsp black pepper
salt to taste

1. Bring 1½ cups dried black-eyed peas to a boil in a pot of water. Lower the heat and simmer for 1-1½ hours or until softened.

2. Sauté the garlic, onion, and squash with half of the bacon grease in a 2-3 quart saucepan until tender. Purée the mixture in a food processor or blender and set aside.

3. Sauté the carrot, zucchini, celery, and any other vegetables in the saucepan with the remaining bacon grease.

4. Return the puréed mixture to the saucepan with the sautéed vegetables, and add softened black-eyed peas and diced ham. Add enough stock to cover the mixture, plus a little more. Add oregano, coriander, chili powder, thyme, rosemary, peppers, and salt, and simmer for 45-90 minutes until thickened to the consistency of a stew. Add more water as necessary to maintain the proper consistency.

5. Adjust seasoning as necessary and serve immediately, or refrigerate and reheat later for an even richer flavor.

Serves 4 as a main dish, or 8 as a side dish

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