Southern Black Eyed Peas Recipe
Just in case you’ve never heard of black-eyed peas, and you’re wondering what they are, they are simply a type of legume popular in various parts of the globe, especially in the south.
Black-eyed peas are a significant part of the food culture in the south. With origins that date back to West Africa, this dish is an essential cultural cuisine and is a substantial part of traditional meals enjoyed during the start of a new year. It is believed to bring good luck during the year and has since become a tradition.
Whether you eat the occasional black-eyed peas recipe at the start of a new year or as a staple meal, you can only truly enjoy this delightful meal if you know how to cook it.
Although they are called black-eyed peas, they aren’t peas but a type of bean with the usual black, red, or brown spot that gives it its name.
For the regular consumers of this meal, black-eyed peas make for a tasty, rich diet, and the good news is that it is relatively easy to fix. If you want to learn how to cook it, what better way than to cook it the southern way, where it’s a traditional staple dish?
Different kinds of meat are used to prepare this dish. Typically, smoked turkey wings are a preferred option, but the other types of meat that you can use are smoked ham hock and cooked bacon pieces. You can also use smoked turkey neck or legs. For this recipe, we’ll be using smoked turkey wings.
Southern Black Eyed Peas Recipe
- 1 lb Black-eyed Peas
- 3 pcs Smoked Turkey Wings
- 1 medium White Onion
- 4 cloves Garlic Minced
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 7 cups Chicken Stock
- ½ tbsp Black Pepper
- 2 tbsp Cajun Seasoning
- 1 medium Green Bell Pepper
- 1 stalk Celery Chopped
- 2 pcs Bay Leaves
How to Prepare Black-eyed Peas
- Some people prefer to soak peas overnight, but if you want to cook them sooner rather than later, pour water into a pot and allow it to come to a boil.
- Add your peas and boil for 5 minutes, then turn off your heat and allow the peas to soak for about an hour before draining the water. Keep it aside.
- To start the cooking process, pour your oil into a pot and saute your onions, celery, bell pepper, and garlic over medium heat for about 5 minutes or till the onions are translucent.
- Add your chicken stock, Cajun seasoning, black pepper, soaked peas, bay leaves, and smoked turkey wings.
- Allow it to come to a boil, then lower the heat and allow it to simmer for about an hour or until your peas are tender. Check on it occasionally and stir.
- Taste for salt and pepper and adjust according to your preferences.
- Turn your heat down and remove bay leaves before serving.
Extra Tips to Note
- After turning your heat off, add parsley and hot sauce for garnish.
- You should cut your turkey wings into smaller pieces before use, except you don’t like meat in your peas and only need it for the flavor.
- Since the Cajun seasoning has salt, you should use a low sodium chicken stock to avoid oversalting your dish.
- If you’re looking for a more vegetarian option, you can use vegetable broth or even water instead of chicken stock and include veggies like carrots and celery.
- If your meal is too thick while you’re preparing it, you can add more of the chicken stock or water to make it lighter.
How to Serve Black-eyed Peas
This delicacy is often served with white rice as a side dish. You can also include cornbread or serve it with cornbread as the side dish. Mashed potatoes are another side dish that goes well with this meal.
Other spices that can be used for black-eyed peas
Black-eyed peas are one of those foods you can use with a wide variety of seasoning and spices to produce different tastes. Aside from the ones used in this recipe, some other herbs used with this legume are thyme, cayenne, coriander, fennel, rosemary, turmeric, ginger, sage, and even cinnamon.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is soaking black-eyed peas before cooking necessary?
While soaking the peas helps to reduce cooking time, it isn’t necessary to do so.
How long do I need to soak my peas?
If you need to soak it, you should soak it for at least 6 hours or overnight.
Can my black-eyed peas get too mushy?
Canned peas are available and will get too mushy if you slow-cook them or cook them for too long.
What are the benefits of soaking these peas?
Aside from reducing the cooking time, soaking the peas before use helps reduce gas/flatulence for people prone to this.
Are they healthy for consumption?
Black-eyed peas make for a tasty delicacy, but this diet is also healthy, providing a lot of nutrients for the body.
Health/Nutritional Benefits of Black-eyed Peas
These legumes contain a good source of fiber, various vitamins, and minerals. Some of the benefits of a good pea diet include:
- They are suitable for the eyes and skin since they contain healthy amounts of beta carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A.
- Their rich fiber content aids digestion.
- They contain essential micronutrients like iron, folate, and copper.
- Like legumes, they are also good for the heart’s overall health.
How to Store Black-eyed Peas
It can either be stored in uncooked form (raw) or after cooking.
To store dried peas, place them in an airtight container. They can last for up to a year when stored this way.
The cooked peas can either be refrigerated or stored in a freezer. It’s important to note that this and other legumes must not be placed in deep containers or pots when freezing or refrigerating. It will help it to cool faster and subsequently freeze better.
The cooked peas can last between 3 to 4 days in a fridge if stored correctly and frozen for a few months.
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