Black-Eyed Peas & Collards

I have spent very little time in the Southern states and I am always intrigued by the beautiful and well-established food culture that seems so foreign to my palate. I have cooked for a lovely Southern couple for quite a while now and at the start they commented that my cuisine is more California then Southern and if there is an opportunity to put fat or sugar in a dish- I should go for it. You have to enjoy that license to cook!

I love the idea of black-eyed peas and the simplicity of preparing them even from scratch. I am came up with this recipe when I was following a detox and needed a clean, vegetable-bean dish that felt hearty and filling. Since I am no longer on the detox I occasionally toss in a few ham chunks, but without them this dish is Vegan. To give a smokey flavor I add in one of my favorite spices, smoked paprika which I buy from the lovely Savory Spice Shop. I am sure my clients would tell me without the ham hock in this dish more 'Californian' but what can I say- I spent a few years there and maybe Black-Eyed Peas needed a little West Coast love... or interpretation.

Black-eyed Peas unlike other beans do not need to be soaked prior to cooking. You can throw them in a pot rinsed & dry, cover with water and cook up for 45 minutes to an hour. If you want to speed things up a Pressure Cooker makes beans cook up like pasta- since it is only about 10-12 minutes in a pressure cooker.

Creole Black-eyed Peas with Collard Greens

1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans black eyed peas or 2 cups cooked black eyed peas
15 ounce can diced roasted tomatoes
1 (generous) teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 tbls fresh oregano
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne (or more to taste)
1 tablespoon hot sauce (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
6 ounces ham, cut into chunks (optional)

In a large pot over medium heat drizzle in the olive oil, sauté the onion and celery for about 5-6 minutes until tender. Add in the remaining ingredients, except the spicy cayenne, hot sauce and black pepper. Simmer for about 5 minutes, then start adding the spices seasoning to your desired taste. Stir in the ham chunks if using. Serve with the collard greens on the side.

Collard Greens

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced fine
1 bunch of collard greens, rinse of all of the dirt, shake dry & slice into short strips
salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add in the olive oil and garlic. Warm up and once the garlic starts to sizzle slightly (usually soon- so be ready) toss in the collard greens and sauté until the greens have just wilted.

Complete this meal with a side a cornbread! Maybe try out this Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Cornbread.

Here is a Black-eyed Pea Soup with Collards that looks lovely as well!


Nathaniel said...

Hi Lilly - This looks yummy. Does it need to be smoked paprika? I'm assuming that it would significantly alter the flavor if you used sweet paprika?

- Leslie

bellacuisine.blogspot.com said...

You are correct- the smoked paprika adds just a lovely hint of smokey flavor- I would miss it if it was gone. If you have liquid smoke and sweet paprika that would work as a reasonable substitute if you want it smokey.

Zonia Cruz said...

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Anne Rizzoli said...

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