Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Black-eyed pea dip for a new year

It’s that time of year when we our thoughts are simultaneously in the past via reflection and the future via resolution. It’s also that time of year when we must eat black-eyed peas.

I’ve written plenty about black-eyed peas and why we Texans (and other Southerners) eat them on New Year’s Day. I’ve also given you some recipes.

This year, I had the honor of picking black-eyed peas at my grandma’s farm. And let me tell you, if you ever have the opportunity to eat fresh black-eye peas straight right out of ground, you’re in for a treat. When preparing the still-green black-eyed peas, she kept it simple by only seasoning them with a bit of salt, pepper and ham. And for the duration of my visit, it was all I wanted to eat. (Well, almost, as she had also made a chocolate pie.)

I can’t get fresh ones here in the city. I can’t even find dried ones. So my recipes always have a canned option. You can hardly go wrong with classics such as Texas caviar or a delicious soup I made last year called Good Fortune Soup. But those are for the converted, those who already love black-eyed peas. What about something for those who don’t love black-eyed peas?

I recently made a black-eyed pea dip. I seasoned it with garlic, bacon, cilantro and jalapenos, I made it creamy with a bit of cheese and I served it warm with tortilla chips. If you don’t like black-eyed peas, this might be the one for you—it already converted one nonbeliever and I’d be thrilled if it could convert more.

But before I eat my black-eyed peas, I need to decide how I want their good fortune to guide me in the new year. 2008 was a roller coaster of a year—and like all of you, I’m looking forward to an awesome 2009. Here are some of my resolutions that I hope will make 2009 a more wonderful year:

1. Cure a ham in my refrigerator, hopefully in time for Easter. All the recipes I saw called for saltpeter, which is impossible to find because it’s also used to make explosives (and I did not know this so that might explain all the strange looks I got from shopkeepers when I asked if they stocked it). But thanks to Michael Ruhlman, I now know I can use curing salt instead.

2. Learn more about Asian and Caribbean cooking. Fortunately for me, two books by blogging friends are arriving this year to guide me in my education: Jaden’s Asian home cooking cookbook and Cynthia’s Caribbean cookbook.

3. Speaking of books, perhaps I’ll write one. People keep asking me when I’m going to write a book. Well, it’s been a long, strange journey and no, I’m nowhere near the end yet. But, I hope to at least fashion a book proposal this year that someone besides my mom will want to read.

4. I want to make fresh masa. Steve Sando became my hero this year by demonstrating how to make masa at home. I’ve long wanted to do this and have even seen the manual grinders at area cookware stores. But Steve got an electric masa grinder in Mexico, which makes the process such a snap, you could have fresh masa tortillas every day!

5. Finally, I just finished seeing "Slumdog Millionaire" and I think India should be my next big trip. I have a friend that lives in Dehli, so what am I waiting for?

What are some of your resolutions for 2009? Happy New Year!

Black-eyed pea dip, with garlic and bacon
Ingredients:
1 15oz can of black-eyed peas, drained or 1 1/2 cups cooked
4 pieces of bacon
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup cilantro chopped
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon (or to taste) cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon lime juice (1/2 a lime)
1 jalapeno, diced (can be fresh or pickled)
1/4 cup shredded Monterrey Jack

Method:
1. In a skillet, cook the bacon. When done, crumble and place in a blender .
2. In same skillet, cook the garlic for one minute and then add to blender.
3. Pour 1 teaspoon of bacon grease from skillet into blender.
4. Add to blender black-eyed peas and all other ingredients except Monterrey Jack cheese. Pulse until ingredients are well mixed together.
5. Place blended dip into skillet, turn on low heat and slowly fold in shredded cheese. Cook until melted, about a minute.
6. Place in a bowl and serve immediately with tortilla chips.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

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48 comments:

radish said...

Happy New Year! I think I'm looking to a) start making Indian food, b) learn how to make amazing croissants, pain au chocolat and other goodies like that c) go on a culinary vacation. I hope that 2009 is a lovely year for all!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

This dip looks really good! Tasty!

Best wishes for the new year!

Cheers,

Rosa

Brenda in Texas said...

Hi Lisa, That dip looks so yummy! I think I will make it for our New Year's Eve get together. I was brought up on fresh black eyed peas so the canned ones are better made
into dip or relish or soup.
No New Year's resolutions this year, I think I am getting too old for that. But I will make you a promise. If you write a book, I will definitely read it.
Thanks for a year's worth of good recipes and good stories. Best wishes for a happy and prosperous 2009 to you and all of your readers.
Brenda

Debbie said...

Sending everyone a birthday card on time, kind of pales in comparrison to your 2009 goals. LOL
Your blog is beautiful!
Happy 2009 to you.

laurelin-kit said...

I was in Publix today (in Orlando) and standing in the ethnic foods/canned vegetables aisle when I heard a woman on her cell phone talking about not being able to find Rotel and not knowing what it was.

"Rotel?" I asked her, and she turned around and hung up quickly. "It's right over there."

I showed her where it was and pointed out the one I used for my queso dip the last time I made it (with cilantro and lime juice). She frowned and said:

"I don't know if I want all that in my queso."

I was about to leave but I turned around and said "You know, if you don't want to use that much, there's a recipe for a natural queso dip on homesicktexan.blogspot.com."

"I think that's where I got this recipe from," she said.

SMALL INTERNET, Y'ALL.

~Madeline~ said...

Aw, there are those "magic hands" again. What a beautiful photo. The dip sounds great too ;) Happy New Year!

Mommy's Kitchen said...

That looks and sounds amazing. I am going to have to make this. Thanks for sharing your recipes are always so good.

Brin said...

I'm a Texan with more recipes than time, but that wouldn't stop me from rushing out to buy a copy of your book and reading it cover to cover! Here's to your 2009! Hope it's amazing.

(P.S. I just made Cheddar Jalapeno Scones for sandwiches New Year's Day. I reckon your dip would hold its own alongside them, huh?) :D

Kevin said...

This dip sounds tasty. Have a great new year!

Greg said...

Hey, I soaked my Black Eyed Peas last night.

I'm surprised you can't find dried ones in NYC. Harlem should have a place that sells them.

My kitchen resolution is to finally start using the Thai, Vietnamese, Greek, Armenian and Japanese cookbooks that just sit on my shelves. I have made Yakitori and Katsudon lately but that's pretty easy stuff.

Happy 2009 to all.

TiffanyBee said...

your photos make your stories and your recipes even more appetizing! thank you!

Karina Allrich said...

Wonderful. I would love to make fresh masa- or better yet, stop by your kitchen and sample yours. Happy New Year- may it be a fabulous 2009!

Meg said...

Your dip looks and sounds really good. It might even be enough to convert my kids to eating black eye peas. I have never had them fresh--only from dried.

If you write a book, I'll read it!

masdevallia said...

This looks fabulous. I've only had black eyed peas on on New Year's night (right after the clock struck 12 on NYE) at a party in San Francisco. Someone made a big pot of beans and everyone shared in the tradition. I'd never heard of it prior to that. I'm game for anything that might drum a little more luck my way this year. Goodbye 2008. HELLOOOO 2009!

My resolutions are still in a formative state. But this is as close as I've come:
1) Stay positive about people, situations, and circumstances. This means focusing on people's good traits, decisions, and accomplishments rather than anything negative. Look on the positives of any situation. (I tend to do this anyhow.)
2) Feed my baby only organic, homemade food until he's at least 1 year old. (He's six months now.)
3) Learn to sew. I've always focused on cooking. I'd like to express myself via another creative and constructive outlet.

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

Those hands!
so tender and strong.

That is a lot of years worth of lucky peas.

Rachel said...

This looks sooo good! We eat black eyed peas every New Yrs at my inlaws house. They are from Arkansas and we also have them with fried hog jowles, baked sweet potatoes, sauteed collard greens. The black eyed peas remind me of any bean and ham soup Ive had. Soo yummy, seasoned with the hambone from our Honey Baked Ham every year. Im super excited to try out this dip recipe for my husband, as he HATES his moms black eyed peas she MAKES us eat every year. Maybe I can sneak this in under the radar and he will not know hes had black eyed peas until he already gulped it all down. Now there's a though.

jana said...

If you write a book, I'll do one better, I'll BUY it! Good luck and Happy New Year.

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Radish--I can't wait to hear about your croissant adventures! And if you need a second opinion on if they taste good or not, I'd be happy to help!

Rosa--Thank you! And a Happy New Year to you, too!

Brenda--That's good to know! May your New Year be happy and prosperous as well!

Debbie--As someone who is ALWAYS late with cards and gifts, I think that's a wonderful resolution and I'm adding it to my list.

Laurelin-Kit--Get out of town! That is too funny! It's a small internet indeed!

Madeline--I'll let her know you said that--she always complains that her hands look old.

Mommy's Kitchen--You're very welcome. Enjoy!

Brin--Those cheddar jalapeno scones sound awesome! I bet they'd go great with the dip but I'd probably just eat mine with a big pat of butter. Happy new year!

Kevin--Happy new year!

Greg--That's a good idea--next time I'm in Harlem I'll have to look and see if they sell them. And have fun cooking from your Asian cookbooks!

TiffanyBee--Thank you so much! And a happy new year!

Karina--You have an open invitation to stop by my kitchen any time!

Meg--Yep, people think it's just a weirdly colored bean dip--the garlic and the bacon pretty much dominates the earthiness of the black-eyed-peas.

Masdevaillia--I'm with you--I'll try anything to make 2009 a better year. And I've always wanted to learn to sew as well--have fun with that!

Sandi--Aren't they beautiful? Happy new year!

Rachel--A hambone and a pot of black-eyed peas is a marriage made in heaven!

Jana--Why thank you! Happy new year!

tastyeatsathome said...

Thanks for sharing! I love to read your blog, I am a native Texan as well (born and raised North of Dallas) and would wonder what I would do if I was transplanted out of here. Your blog helps celebrate all of the wonderful things in the Lone Star State! I love fresh black-eyed peas too, just made a pot last night and blogged about them this morning! Anyways, Happy New Year, and if you do get to that book, let me know! I'd love to read!

Rita said...

How interesting, I never heard of eating black-eyed peas for the New Year. We do the same in Brazil with lentils. In fact, I better start my lentil dish!
Happy 2009!

Anonymous said...

Just discovered your website and wish to goodness I'd have had this site when I lived in NYC. I look forward to trying out these recipes, even the King Ranch Casserole without cream of mushroom soup (who knew?). Fixin' to go to the store for cabbage with my peas...Happy New Year!

Lori from Mesquite

Aleta said...

Have you tried using frozen black-eyed peas? They're in supermarket freezer cases and I'm a convert -- so much better than dried.

tejasjeff said...

Happy New Year Lisa!
I just wanted to thank you for putting together one of my favorite little nooks on the web.
I impatiently wait for new posts because every dang thing u post works and tastes delicious.
The Black eyed peas are on , i just finished using my Diskado I built for the first time.
life is good in San Antonio and hope you continue on with the site in 2009.
My friends are depending on me to keep the good stuff coming!

Wading Thru said...

Black-eyed peas is a necessity at our house on New Year's Day. The tradition continues.

Living in DC it is not easy to get fresh black-eyes. We have to make do with some kind of dried or frozen peas. But when we visit my mother in Western Texas in the summer, we overdose on those delightful fresh peas.

As a boy, way before your were Homesick Texan was born, we raise large areas of black-eyed peas. My mom and dad let my brother and I pick the peas and sell them. I think we go $1 per bushel. I think we grew them on some kind of government soil enhancement program. Probably were not supposed to pick them.

Still love them. Look forward to a good mess of black-eyed peas on New Years.

Thanks for your blog.

beth said...

thanks for the reminder about black-eyed peas — i eat them every year and can't believe i almost forgot! i went to HEB last night and bought about six cans. i'm definitely feeling lucky now.

one question though: in your other post on black-eyed peas, you mention frying them up as croquettes. that sounds delicious, but would i need to add anything as a binder?

also, i should say that love reading your blog. i live in austin, and your posts make me appreciate so many good things that are in reach here.

Leilani Lee said...

I made your dip today; I left out the garlic, but otherwise it was great. Thanks for this recipe.

Tatersmama said...

You're preaching to the converted here...LOL! I can't get black-eyed peas in any form here, other than ordering them (at about $4 a can) from USA Foods in Melbourne.
So that whole thing about eating poor so you'll have a year of riches? My meal last night ( black-eyed peas, collards, Hoppin' John, cornbread and ham with pecan pie for dessert) cost me about $35 for TWO of us ! LOL!
It was well worth it though, just for the taste of home. :o)

Jean Jernigan said...

Happy New Year to all of Lisa's fellow bloggers. Why she photographs my wrinkled hands is a mystery!
Grandma Jean

Anonymous said...

Just tasted my Hoppin' John black eyed peas - have to tweak them a little (like adding just a pinch of sugar) and then "supper is ready". I'm a native Texan and this dish with some homemade cornbread will be a gourmet meal for us, lol. Happy New Year Lisa...hope you get back home, ie, Texas, many times in 2009. Take good care of your Granny. Judy B. Houston, Texas

Judy B. said...

Grandma Jean - be proud of your hands...they have served you well; they are beautiful. I wish I could hold my Mamma's hands once more; but I will one of these days. Judy B. Texas

ava said...

those hands are gorgeous! and is that really your grandma commenting above? so cute!

I just saw Slumdog Millionaire and adored it. I have been wanting to travel to India through the Miracle Foundation (started by a woman who lives in Austin), and seeing that movie made me want to do so even more. http://www.miraclefoundation.org/

Off to make my black eyed peas now! Happy new year!

Olivia said...

Now that's a lovely way to eat black eyed peas - in that dip, as I eat anything with cilantro and chilis in it. My psych professor's wife once made a spicy black eyed pea hummus, and since they live in Houston I bet it was a similar recipe. I found it creamier than those made with chickpeas.

One of the few ways I enjoy pulses is fresh out of the ground so I hope to try that one day too.

Paula said...

Happy New Year! I just LOVE your dip recipe and admire you and others who have made goals for the year. Best wishes for a wonderful 2009! Can't wait to see what you cook up next! :-)

Pille said...

Happy New Year, Lisa!!!
One of my New Year resolutions is to grow more of my own vegetables - perhaps even black eyed peas :)

Lisa said...

Happy new year, Lisa! Your dip sounds delicious. I adore blackeyed peas and am making some today, in fact. I'm so envious of your fresh ones! I'd love to try them. At least we can easily get dried ones here, so that's what I use.

I agree about Jaden's and Cynthia's cookbooks; can't wait to get my hands on those. I'm also with you on India! I was there once, 30 years ago, but I didn't get to travel around much and would love to go back. I now know someone in Mumbai I could visit . . . hmmm. :) By the way, I read the book that Slumdog was based on (it's called Q and A); it was really, really good.

Texan said...

What a great blog! I just started one called atexaninkuwait.blogspot.com it deals with expat food and i am inspired to post my new years recipe for black eyed peas! Im a vegetarian so it wont be as exciting as what i see here, but it is still fabulous, imho. Your pictures are excellent as well!

Tommy said...

No resolutions, except buying Ruhlman's "Charcuterie". When your book comes out, I'll buy it in a flash. Shall we expect it this year ?

KMDuff said...

This was tasty. More lime flavor than I personally like, but still super tasty.

Anonymous said...

Looks almost like refried beans--Refritos Ojo Negro?

Anonymous said...

I used to work at the Black-Eyed Pea restaurant (I know you are familiar being from the metroplex)and we had the most amazing spicy BEP soup! When business was slow we used to have contests to see who could come up with a new way to use "peas" in a recipe. we made BEP fritters, BEP puppies, BEP cakes, BEP patties, BEP salads, .... My favorites were always spicy with jalapenos, onions and mixed with cornbread or cornmeal. fun memories! The soup was fresh and wonderful-- too bad they don't serve it anymore.
love your blog, alisa

Lisa (dinner party) said...

Happy New Year, Lisa!

Excited for a whole new year of great posts here. My resolution is to keep plugging away on my blog and conquer (or at least attempt) gluten-free baking this year.

Amy C Evans said...

Happy New Year, Miss Lisa! Wishing you love, laughter and pie. XO from Mississippi, Amy

Mike said...

I could "sense" you in the DFW area over the break......okokok I couldn't

Annnnnnway, ashamed to say that our 6 year old will only eat a 1/8 of a black eyed pea on New Years Day.....he literally gags and runs to the trash can. Like a dog, we surrounded it in mashed potatoes before feeding it to the poor boy.

...have a grand New Year

tbsamsel said...

Those of you who can't find dried black-eyed peas try India/Pakistani grocery stores.

Ted

Anonymous said...

I love blackeyed peas and living in Southen California so usually can get them fresh. When in season they are often sold in the farmers markets. If there is a Whole Foods they usually carry fresh blackeyed peas or Asian markets.
I too went on a search for salt peter (I wanted to make my own cornbeef) but was told that was not such a great idea and perhaps prague powder would be a safer choice, not to mention easier to use. In the end Morton (yes, the salt company) has products that work in these cases. For the ham the product is called Smoked flavored sugar cure. I'd give that a try I know the product I used to make the cornbeef worked like a charm and takes all the guess work out.

LilSis said...

Thanks for sharing that blackeyed pea dip recipe! It looks awesome! I too, am a Homesick Texan. We've been in CA now for almost seven years. No matter where we live, we always have the ham, blackeyed peas, and greens at midnight on New Years Eve! Most of our friends have never heard of that Southern Tradition and most have never had blackeyed peas, but they are quickly converted.

I'm glad I found your blog.

gillian said...

definitely write a book! i go to your blog anytime i want to cook anything that brings back memories of growing up in san antonio and eating all food that is texan now in and around austin.... i've shared the "Tex-Mex Cookbook" as a gift because I love the stories and recipes. I'd love to share your book with friends as well - what a great gift it would make - in time for the holidays?!

Morgan D. said...

I used this recipe for my new years day party this year and it was a huge hit. I doubled up to have enough to go around. I halved the cilantro for my personal taste and added a little sour cream because it was too thick to scoop at first. Everyone loved it! Thanks! I've been subscribing to your blog for a while now, but this is the first time i got to try out a recipe and it was a total success.

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