my favorite (almost famous) blackeyed peas

Blackeyed Peas, if you please!

Blackeyed Peas, if you please!

Most folks are fair-weather Johnsons when it comes to blackeyed peas – thinking only of them when New Year’s comes around. That’s just wrong! Blackeyed peas are a welcome surprise to any dinner and are readily (affordably) available every day. This recipe is meant as a side, but can easily be translated into a delicious winter soup to chap the cold. Just add more stock!

What you’ll need …

2 16 oz. bags dried blackeyed peas
4 tbsp quality olive oil
3 dried bay leaves
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
3 large carrots (diced)
3 stalks of celery (diced)
1/2 large red onion
4 cloves garlic (minced)
12 oz. country ham seasoning pieces *optional*
6 cups stock (vegetable or chicken)
2 cups good drinking white wine (1 for you, 1 for the peas)
8 springs chopped fresh thyme

Soak dried blackeyed peas in a large bowl with enough water to cover entirely. Refrigerate uncovered overnight. Rinse and drain peas with fresh water then set aside. In a large pot on medium heat add olive oil, dried bay leaves, and crushed red pepper flakes. Heat until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add carrots, celery, red onion and garlic. Top with a hefty pinch of salt and allow to sweat until celery and onions are close to translucent. Add 12 ounces of country ham pieces for seasoning (if you’re opting for vegetarian – skip this step). Combine thoroughly. Add drained peas and thyme. Then cover with enough chicken stock (or vegetable stock) to cover peas. Throw in the wine and take a good swig yourself. Bring to low boil for 30 minutes. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for about 2 hours or until thickened and peas softened. For additional flavor burst, serve with your favorite hot sauce and Southern Chow Chow.

***Don’t worry if you’ve made too much … these freeze amazingly well for at least 3 months! Keep that luck rolling!***