Side Dishes

Southern Black-eyed Peas

Simply seasoned southern black-eyed peas, made with bacon, the Trinity of vegetables, ham hocks, jalapenos, bay leaves, salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning.

1/4 pound of bacon, chopped
1 cup of chopped onion
1/2 of a medium green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup of chopped celery
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Leftover diced ham and/or a ham bone or ham hocks, if ya got it
About 2 quarts of hot water (can also use chicken broth or stock)
1 pound of dried black-eyed peas, rinsed and picked through
1 to 2 jalapenos, ribs and seeds removed and chopped, or to taste, optional
Couple pinches of kosher salt, or to taste
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (or to taste)
2 bay leaves
Additional water or chicken broth or stock, if needed
In a tall stockpot cook the bacon until done but not crisp; add the onion, bell pepper, and celery to the rendered bacon fat and cook just until tender. Add the garlic and cook another minute or so. If you have some leftover ham, add it here also and cook it until browned. Toss the peas in the pot and sort of stir fry them with the veggies for a bit. Then slowly begin adding the hot water, stirring in as you do, and bring it up to a full boil. If you're lucky enough to have a ham bone, stick it in there after you add the water but before you add the peas, reduce heat to medium and allow the ham bone to cook by itself for about an hour to deepen the stock. Once that cooks (or if you don't happen to have a ham bone) go ahead and just add the dried peas and then the jalapeno, salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning and bay leaves. Then bring it all to a boil. Reduce to a medium simmer and partially cover, cooking for about 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until peas are tender and creamy. Add additional chicken stock or water only if necessary to slightly thin out. Serve over hot cooked rice or stir them into the rice if you like.


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