A family tradition that Kelly makes every New Years Day for good luck. The recipe is mildly spicy and makes a full bowl for approximately 6 people.
2 12 oz Bag of Fresh Black Eye Peas (or dried if not available)
5 Large Clove Fresh Garlic
1 Sweet Yellow Onion Diced
1 Yellow Bell Pepper Diced (orange is a substitute)
10 Slices of Bacon
1 can Rotel Tomatoes
1.5 tsp Creole Seasoning (Tony Chachere’s recommended, but isn’t gluten free)
1.5 tsp Garlic Salt
1/4 cup Fresh Cilantro chopped
1/2 tsp Table Salt
1 tsp Black pepper
4 cups Chicken Broth
Rinse and drain the fresh black eyed peas.
If fresh peas weren’t available and you had to buy dried peas, first soak them in water following the directions on the package. Then continue with this recipe.
Put enough water in a stock pot to cover the peas by a little more than 1″. Bring to a true boil. Add the peas to the water (add warm water if necessary to get proper 1″ coverage) and let come back to a boil, then immediately reduce heat to a simmer for 10-15 minutes. The peas should be mostly tender when done with this part of the process. If not, turn heat off and let sit for 20-30 min before proceeding.
Do not add salt to the water before or during this part of the process, because it will prevent the peas from getting tender.
Drain water from the pot (can pour though a colander). Put the peas back in the pot and add chicken broth, water, Rotel tomatoes and dry seasonings, per the amounts listed above. Bring to a slow boil for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, fry bacon strips until crispy, remove from pan and let cool to room temperature.
In the same pan, sauté onions, garlic and peppers in bacon grease until tender. Add to peas in the stock pot. Crumble bacon and add to peas. Reduce heat and let simmer for 2 + hours, checking for tenderness every 30 minutes. Add fresh cilantro about 5 minutes before serving.
During the final hours of cooking, you may need to add more chicken broth and/or water, if more liquid is needed due to evaporation. If you want to make it more spicy, you can add 1 finely chopped jalapeno and/or a small can of green chilies. Remember that the Creole Seasoning has red pepper in it and the Rotel has some kick to it. Also taste for possible needed additional salt and pepper.
This recipe is easily doubled, if you have a larger stock pot. Serves well with homemade cornbread. If at all possible, use fresh black eyed peas, which are available in the produce section of the grocery store after Christmas, at least in the Southern US states.