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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?

Black-eyed pea dip with garlic and bacon | Homesick Texan
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 | Homesick Texan
5 from 1 vote

Bacon black-eyed pea dip

Servings 8
Author Lisa Fain


  • 4 pieces bacon
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 (15-ounce ) can black-eyed peas, drained
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon or to taste cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 cup shredded Monterrey Jack
  • Tortilla chips, for serving


  • In a skillet on medium low, cook the bacon. When done, remove from the skillet crumble and place in a blender.
  • Pour 2 tablespoons of the grease into the blender, then add the garlic to the skillet and cook on medium for 30 seconds. Add to the blender along with the blender black-eyed peas, chili powder, cayenne, lime juice, and jalapeño. Pulse until ingredients are well mixed together.
  • Place the dip into skillet, turn on low heat and slowly fold in shredded cheese. Cook until melted, about a minute. Place in a bowl and serve immediately with tortilla chips.

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  1. Lisa (dinner party) says:

    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.

  2. Amy C Evans says:

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

  3. 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

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


  5. Anonymous says:

    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.