I am #MACPAgrateful for traditions that bring joy and hope. I grew up in the South – my mom was from Louisiana and my dad from Mississippi. New Year’s Day was a favorite for me because we enjoyed foods with a purpose. It was a nice way to end the holidays and to think about the year ahead with hope for prosperity.
The traditional foods we ate were pork roast, cabbage and/or collard greens, cornbread and black eyed peas . . . they are my favorite!
There’s evidence that people ate black-eyed peas for luck as early as 500 A.D. as a part of the Jewish holiday Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. But the tradition of eating black-eyed peas with rice is African in origin. I find the rice is necessary because the saltiness of the seasonings and bacon can be too much for some. Southerners are known for a heavy hand with salt!
Good news is, they are super easy to make. Here’s my recipe:
- 1 lb dried black eyed peas
- 1 white onion diced
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- 2 large stalks of celery
- 10 cloves of garlic
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 5-6 slices of bacon, sliced into smaller bite sized slices I love applewood smoked
- 1 tbsp Tony’s Chachere’s Bold Creole Seasoning
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- Kosher salt
- Over medium heat in a 6-7 quart heavy saucepan, cook your bacon pieces until all the fat is rendered. Remove bacon pieces and set aside for later.
- In the rendered bacon fat, saute your bell peppers, onions, and celery. After about 4 minutes, add your garlic. Cook for about 2 minutes. Add a palmful of salt.
- Pour in your dried black eyed peas. Add the bacon back to the pot.
- Pour in your chicken stock. Add Tony’s, garlic powder and another palmful of kosher salt.
- Bring to a boil. Let boil for about 5-7 minutes.
- Reduce to a simmer and let cook for 1.5-2 hours.
- Taste periodically for spice level. Don’t skimp on the salt!
- Once your beans are nice and soft, they’re just about ready! The starchy goodness will help thicken the cooking liquid. If there is too much liquid left in the pot, let lightly boil uncovered until it thickens to your liking. If the beans are still too tough, add more stock or water.
- Serve over rice, with a side of cornbread, or both. All the carbs! Enjoy!
Enjoy! And all my best for a wonderful, grateful holiday season, filled with prosperity, health and hope. #MACPAgrateful