How To Cook Black-Eyed Peas

Around these parts, meaning the Southern states of the United States, black-eyed peas have got to be eaten on New Year’s Day to ensure prosperity and fortune.

The deal is that during the Civil War, mean old General Sherman came through the Confederacy and burned everything to the ground like a grouchy jerk. He was all like, “Make sure yous guys burn anything you can’t eat on the spot or jam into your grubby pockets.” But the legend is that the Union soldiers only ever ate green English peas and were thinking, “Surely these wretches can’t be eating black-eyed peas, fergodsake!” So they left the fields alone and after the smoke had cleared and the Confederate peoples came out to survey the damage, they saw that there were still lots and lots of black-eyed peas left to chow down on and that’s how they got to represent good luck.

Black-Eyed Peas RecipeI’m pretty sure it’s superstition, since by now I should be utterly swimming in gold coins and heating my personal blimp with a fireplace that runs exclusively on 100-dollar-bills. But… here I am instead typing on a 6-year-old laptop with a busted mousepad and wearing a blanket because I can’t afford to run the G.D. heater. So, basically, I’m saying don’t count on eating a bowl of peas to make you rich.

But they will fill your tummy with the warm goodness of a hearty reminder of olden days when men were men and women cooked blackeyed peas for them on New Year’s Day.

 

Black-Eyed Peas with Salt Pork

How To Cook Black-Eyed Peas
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 1 lb frozen blackeyed peas
  • 4 oz (1/4 lb) salt pork or bacon, diced
  • 1-2 jalapenos, minced
  • 1 small tomato, diced (about ½ c)
Instructions
  1. Fry the salt pork or bacon in a pot for about 4 minutes until some of the fat is rendered and it's starting to crisp up.
  2. Add the peas and stir them around to coat in grease.
  3. Add the pepper and tomato.
  4. Add enough water to just cover the peas and slap a lid on that puppy.
  5. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, simmer 45 minutes.
  6. Serve with hot sauce. Them will be the best black-eyed peas you ever put in your mouf.

 

To Use Dried Peas: Follow the instructions above for 1 pound dried peas, but add twice as much water to cover the peas. Bring to boil, then simmer 1 1/2 hours until very tender and almost falling apart.

And here’s another delicious recipe for black-eyed peas that uses canned peas: Texas Caviar!

Comments

  1. oh how i love these peas. i think there is a talmudic tradition on black eyed peas as new year good luck too.

    i once heard that the source of the black spot is that as the plant germinates, its point of contact is where the spot is. since they prefer hot climates, it gets burned. that could be full of bs too since these will help with dietary elimination.

    best of luck in the new year. and i love this new posting protocol. was there a plugin name for it. i might be obliged to nick it from you

    • Hilah Cooking says:

      Hey Matt! Yep, sounds like the “burned” theory about how the peas get their spots is BS. Don’t matter to me, though, I love them no matter why they have spots!
      Glad you like the new comment format. I’m still getting used to it myself.

  2. Now I’m not one to argue with tradition or history but I gotta say if some spiteful old general ever comes to burn my crops, I’m not calling that a lucky day, even if the peas survive.

    But my mother, who is fabulously wealthy, also cooks black eyed peas every New Years, so I think it does work. I’m going to miss them this time. Sadly, I’m in Bangkok, where I’ll be forced to endure riotous partying, cheap food, abundant alcohol, and possible hazy fornication.

    I’m sure I had a point in there somewhere. Ah yes, great show Hilah!

    • Hilah Cooking says:

      Oh poor Jack! You just can’t ever look on the bright side, can you!? ;)
      Have a great time on New Year’s! At first I read “lazy fornication” and I was like, “Jeez… ladies, look out!”

  3. I like this, simple and straightforward, puts the peas center stage. If I’m making them for my vegan friends, I substitute a little olive oil and hot smoked paprika for the bacon.

  4. I enjoyed your video on how to cook black-eyed peas. I make some every year with cornbread and turnip greens. I usually just open a can. You really make cooking look like fun. Thanks!

    • Hilah Cooking says:

      Hi Teresa! Happy New Year! I’m glad you liked the video and hope you’ll try the recipe! Thanks for writing.

  5. Spices Manufacturer Jaipur says:

    Wow, what a picture, i can guess how much delicious this food is..

    Nice Receipe.. I will do it.

    Delicious, You guys are rocking.

    Sapna
    +91 9829061228

    http://www.spicespulses.com/index.php
    Email spicespulses@gmail.com

  6. Thanks! I am stationed in Iraq right now, and even though I can’t cook here I like to collect new recipes. I’m also a vegetarian with an omnivorous family, so your site is a double bonus! Cheers! Greg

    • Hilah Cooking says:

      Hey Greg! I’m glad my recipes are making it into your collection. I hope when you get home and are able to try them out, they live up to your expectations (and your family’s)! Hope you have a great 2011, buddy.

  7. Oh man! I’m from New Mexico and my husband is from Oregon (we live in Washington now) and I told him to go buy me some blackeye peas for New Year’s and he was like, “Why?” Apparently it is just a thing people from the south do. And he didn’t buy me any so we didn’t have any this year :( Bummer.

  8. I made this recipe for my New Year’s Day feast and am still enjoying good luck and it’s April! Thanks again Hilah. Your food rocks!

  9. Happy 2012 to Hilah & Chris! I decided to make this for our New Year’s, but as usual, I re-jiggered. The Giant Food by us didn’t have salt pork, so I diced up some extra-thick cut smoked bacon. I like oniony stuff, so I added a half-cup of diced onion and a minced garlic clove and sauteed it ’til translucent in the bacon fat. My wife likes her food less spicy than I do, so instead of jalapeno I diced up the same amount of green bell pepper. I dosed my bowl with Texas Pete. To ensure long green for the year, I sauteed chard and spinach in olive oil with garlic. Everything was served over long-grain jasmine rice. I posted photos on my blog. Thanks for the tips!

    • Oh, that looks SO good! I just did the Texas Caviar this year and your photos make me want to do some more in the Grand Old Tradition!

  10. I’m cooking black eyed peas and was wondering if they have to be drained after a quick boil? There is no toxins or anything released from boiling that i have to worry about, is there?

    • Hi Isaac!
      No toxins, but some people think the “gaseous” effects of beans are lessened if you discard the cooking water. Personally, I don’t worry about it. :)

Leave a Comment

*

Rate this recipe: