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Old September 21st, 2009, 12:16 AM
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CearaQC CearaQC is offline
Garden nut
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Great White North
Posts: 1,511
I was born and raised in Texas, so we ate black eye peas all the time! We grew them too in our family garden.

What we always did was just cook them in a giant pot with a chunk of ham, or ham hock for flavor and lots of salt and pepper and onions, garlic and hot chili flakes. The beans themselves are really full of flavor and don't need a lot of stuff added.

I don't know why people call them peas because they are obviously beans.

My mom told me the tradition is to eat as many black eyes peas as you could stand every New Years day. This was to remember the Civil War when the Yankees burned crops. The Yankees figured the beans were cow fodder and so didn't destroy the plants. So southern folks consider eating black eyed peas as a sign of being thankful they did have something to eat. And it also signifies good luck and that's why they are eaten on New Years Day. Some people even say that the green part was a symbol for paper money and the beans themselves coins. So the more you ate the more fortune you would have the whole year.

If you buy canned or dry you're not going to get the green bits, which look just like regular green beans. That's something that comes when you grow it yourself.

So if you want to be traditional, just cook them with salt pork of some kind and that's pretty much it. If you want more flavor, well add other veggies in the pot. And serve with cornbread! Jalepeno/cheese cornbread really goes good with it.

Another recipe is Texas Caviar, a kind of dip. You mix cooked, cooled black eyes peas with other spices and stuff and chow down with some tortillas chips. There are a ton of recipes for it online that you can find pretty easily.

Oh if you want frijoles or refried beans, go for the pinto. Pinto beans are the best for that and have the most flavor out of any bean I have ever eaten. They are sooooo yummy! Black eyed peas wouldn't make good frijoles because they are a lot more starchy than Pintos and have a shell that comes off when cooked whereas the pinto does not. And frijoles aren't really fried or refried. They are cooked and mashed, traditionally with a bit of lard. I find Quebec severely lacking in Tex-Mex food so I have to make it myself. hehe
Sandy Belle Sheeba - born 11/14/07 at 12:30 pm Linx Jasper

Last edited by CearaQC; September 21st, 2009 at 12:26 AM.
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