I have embraced the hidden Texan in me. Only the good parts, obviously.
Especially when it involves beans.
I mean peas. Peas, beans, all the same, right? (Not if you don’t like peas!)
As I discovered earlier, black eyed peas taste so much better when cooked from fresh. After you cook them from recently picked pods, that is when you figure out why they are called black eyed PEAS.
Many of the Southern United States grow field peas, such as black eyed peas, including Texas. Local, fresh black eyed peas are easily found in local grocers right now. A longstanding Southern tradition for forthcoming good luck is to eat black eyed peas and collard greens (a dish named Hoppin John) on New Year’s Day. This year, I decided to try a different variation on Southern stewed beans: black eyed peas are simmered in a Creole-spiced tomato sauce. I skipped the collards (the horror) in lieu of brown rice, but that was merely due to my lack of judgment at the grocery store this weekend.
I routinely get into a (deliciously yummy) rut with similar flavours – cumin, coriander, garlic and ginger – but I liked how simple this dish was, yet it was deliciously flavoured. I whipped together my own version of Creole seasoning right into the tomatoes. Creole seasoning should be easy to make, as it is a mix based on paprika, onion, garlic, thyme and oregano. In the heat of the kitchen, I mistakenly thought Old Bay seasoning would be a quasi-supplemental spice mixture. The celery-dominant Old Bay seasoning made up for my lack of celery from the holy trinity of Creole cuisine: a mirepoix from onions, bell peppers and celery. In the end, this turned out to be a wonderful success.
Do you try to eat black eyed peas on New Year’s Day?
Other black eyed pea recipes here:
Other Southern beans and greens recipes here:
Southern Black Eyed Peas with Stewed Tomatoes
Adapted from Afro-Vegan
12 oz fresh black eyed peas (or 1 cup dried black eyed peas, or 3 cups cooked black eyed peas)
salt, to taste
1 tbsp olive oil, or oil of choice
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 tsp Old Bay Seasoning, divided (make your own with this recipe or this recipe)
1/2 tsp No Salt Seasoning (I used TJ’s 21-Seasoning Salute)
1/4 tsp dried thyme
scant 1/4 tsp dried Mexican oregano (regular oregano is fine, too)
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp Aleppo chile flakes, or to taste
28 oz can fire-roasted tomatoes, coarsely chopped, with juice
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1.5 cups water (or vegetable broth)
1 tbsp fresh basil, thinly sliced
cooked brown rice, for serving
1. Begin by cooking your black eyed peas. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add peas, reduce heat, cover and simmer until almost soft. Add a touch of salt and simmer 5 minutes more. This will take 15-30 minutes, if using fresh peas, or 45-60 minutes of using dried. Drain and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Once hot, add onions and sprinkle with salt. Saute until softened, approximately 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 2 minutes more, careful not to let it burn. Add 1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning, no-salt seasoning, thyme, oregano, smoked paprika, and chile flakes. Stir to toast slightly, approximately 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes with their juice, nutritional yeast and water. Bring to a simmer. Once your peas are cooked through, add to the tomato sauce. Continue to simmer your tomato sauce for 30 minutes, until it reaches a thicker consistency and the flavours meld. Add an additional 1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning and season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Stir in the fresh basil and remove from heat. Allow basil to cook for 3 minutes or so, as the dish cools. Serve with cooked brown rice.