Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year's Invention

I had three different black-eyed pea recipes printed out to pick from for today; I just had to decide which one to prepare! But the last two days I had been helping my husband work at our building site until dark, and did not make it to the store (which is probably a good thing, I'd be afraid to be seen out in public after being out in the cold all day, and wood shavings in my hair).

But gosh...I had no canned black eyed peas to just warm up, and I have NEVER, that I can remember, missed having the traditional Southern black-eyed pea meal for January 1st. I brought a pound of them to a boil, and let sit an hour or so. I had some vegetarian ham seasoning, and put in the pot--I thought I'd just have them plain, and do something with the rest of them later.

But I kept coming up with ideas, which were ingredients I had purchased for the other recipes I was *going* to make.....2 tbsp. veggie ham seasoning...1/2 onion, diced.....a sprinkling of Chipotle chili powder, with it's wonderful smokey scent....1 fresh jalapeno, finely diced....2 cloves of garlic, minced....then 2 small stalks of celery, thinly sliced, a regular sized can of fire roasted diced tomatoes, and freshly ground black pepper. I had to REALLY watch it the last little bit, when it became thick...the beans needed to simmer a bit more, but I was reluctant to add more liquid, so I stirred frequently so that I didn't have a repeat of my last black-eyed pea cooking attempt!

I served this with Jasmine rice to my husband, and warned him it was an experiment (and assuring him that the celery leaf for garnish was NOT cilantro!) ...he said, "That was really, really good!" So, I decided I had better write this one down, since he liked it so well. (I did, too). Next time, hopefully I can put it in the crockpot, I think it does a better job of cooking beans thoroughly (which only works if you plan ahead of time, like I failed to do yesterday!).

I think it will be even better tomorrow. I think it would also be good to throw some okra in there.

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