Saturday, December 31, 2011

lucky legumes

Have you prepared your black eyed peas yet?
From grand gala gourmet dinners to small casual gatherings with friends and family, these flavorful legumes are traditionally, according to Southern folklore, the first food to be eaten on New Year's Day for luck and prosperity throughout the year ahead.

The practice of eating black-eyed peas for luck is generally believed to date back to the Civil War. At first planted as food for livestock, and later a food staple for slaves in the South, the fields of black-eyed peas were ignored as Sherman's troops destroyed or stole other crops, thereby giving the humble, but nourishing, black-eyed pea an important role as a major food source for surviving Confederates. (credit)

I couldn't find a black eyed peas recipe that I really liked, so I combined several. The result was a ridiculously easy to make and super tasty concoction.

Come on, peas ... bring me some luck & prosperity!

NYE Black Eyed Peas with Jalapeños, Onions, & Salt Pork
(catchy name, huh?)

2 Tbsp olive oil
3 jalapeño peppers, diced
12 oz. salt pork (I used Hormel), cut into 1/2-inch cubes (or whatever size works for you)
2 yellow onions, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb bag black eyed peas
cilantro & lime for garnishing

Cook a 1-lb bag of black eyed peas according to package instructions.

While the peas are cooking in a separate pot, heat oil in a medium skillet on high heat. Place the jalapeños, onion, and garlic in the skillet, stirring to coat with oil. Allow to cook, turning occasionally, until softened.

Stir in the pork and cook until lightly browned.

Add the cooked black eyed peas.

Season with salt, to taste (you may not need any, since the pork is so salty). Serve with fresh cilantro and a really good squeeze of lime juice (the more, the better).

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