I’M GOING TO THE BEANS
by Andrew Chalk
Camellia, the oldest dried bean company in America (and still family-run in New Orleans) sent me a bag of their black-eyed peas and a challenge to make the recipe Southern Blackeyed Peas. As someone who has not cooked beans before, I was daunted. But I decided to give it a shot. Here’s the gig...
Through the Recipe with Gun and Camera
Cube ham and cut bacon into small strips, then sauté them in olive oil until browned.
Add chopped onion, red bell pepper, and celery and sauté until onion is translucent. Then add chopped garlic and cook one minute more.
Add chicken stock, black-eyed peas, water (more on this below), black pepper and cayanne pepper. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 75 minutes.
The finished article, garnished with chopped chives. The beans have become submissively soft and all the flavors resolved. Absolutely delicious on a cold, wet, winter night.
The first time I make a recipe I slavishly follow the rules. Then, as Antonioni said, once you know the rules you can break them. In the next incarnation of this straightforward and highly successful recipe, that water will be replaced with red wine and I will add some thyme and coriander for an accent. I am sure that you will have your own ideas and, as they say, your mileage may vary.
Southern Blackeye Peas Ingredients
1 (1-pound) package Camellia Brand Blackeye Peas
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces ham, diced
6 thick-cut slices bacon, cut in 1/4-inch strips
1 large onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 red bell pepper, chopped (about 1 cup)
3 stalks celery, chopped (about 1 cup)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Rinse and sort blackeyed peas.
Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add ham and bacon.
Cook stirring occasionally until browned, about 10 minutes.
Add onion, bell pepper and celery, sauté for 3 minutes, or until onions are slightly translucent.
Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.
Add blackeye peas, stock, water, pepper, and cayenne, and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until peas are tender, about 75 minutes.
Pairs well with Pan Fried Pork Chops and Southern Collard Greens.