Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Creole Blackeyes and Rice

Here's the recipe that Laura made for us on New Year's Day. It's traditional in the U.S. (especially in the south) to eat Black Eyed Peas on this day, supposedly bringing good luck for the coming year. My luck was in after searching all around Derby, finding 2 big bags of dried peas at the indoor market!

Here it is:

This recipe employs dried blackeyed peas (as opposed to the canned variety). They should be soaked overnight. Before beginning the following steps, I preboiled the peas (which are actually lentils) in a full rolling boil for 10 minutes, then drained and set aside. This speeds up the cooking process.


4 cups blackeyed peas, presoaked and preboiled
6 (or more) rashers of ham, chopped
8 pork sausages
1 ½ cups (or more) ready-to-eat tiger prawns, small
2 onions, chopped
2 cans chopped tomatoes
4 cloves garlic, sliced
6 cups approx. veggie or chicken stock
smoked paprika (1 ½ tablespoons, or to taste)
cayenne pepper (1 ½ teaspoons, or to taste)
cracked black pepper
sea salt
hot cooked white rice


Add ham or bacon to peas; cover with stock. Bring to low boil/simmer. Meanwhile, brown sausages in oil quickly - only a few minutes each side, just for some color and to give the skins a nice texture. Remove from the pan - reserving the drippings - and cool so that they can be handled, then slice into 1/2" thick slices. Set aside.

In the sausage drippings, over a medium-low heat, lightly fry the onions and garlic until just soft, slightly brown. Add to peas and ham. Add chopped tomatoes, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper, sausages. Simmer another 30-45 minutes, until peas reach a nice texture and sausage is cooked through. Add additional hot stock as needed as the mixture boils down. When you are happy with the texture, allow most of the liquid to boil off, add shrimps, and correct the seasoning - heavy on the pepper!

Pack a ½ cup measure with hot rice, turn upside down on a plate or in a large shallow bowl. Spoon your creole creation all around and enjoy!


ps. This is way better than The Blackeyed Peas on your radio.

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