Written by adam on Jan 1, 2006
Let's Get It Started!
Happy New Year! And welcome to all from Chef Melissa's recipe swap contest. In the southern United States, it is tradition to eat black-eyed peas on New Year's. I am unsure where or when this tradition started, but most of the sources I consulted generally said that it is a Southern tradition. Black-eyed peas are a terrific survivors, the plants being incredibly drought tolerant. According to Wikipedia, the blossoms of the black-eyed peas are excellent nectar producers, and some areas can be signficant sources of honey. This ties in well to my recipe below.
From what I can tell, the black-eyed pea tradition is common from Texas all the way to Georgia and South Carolina. It is believed that eating black-eyed peas on New Year's will bring the eater good luck in the coming year. Some folks believe that you should eat 365 peas, one for each day of the year. Others make black-eyed peas and greens, the peas representing coins and the greens representing dollars.
Traditionally, black-eyed peas are simmered in stock or broth, usually with a hamhock, hambone, or some sort of pork-based meat. This is the basic recipe, one that has about a million different combinations and permutations. Onions, bell peppers, chile peppers, tomatoes, and garlic are common acoutrements to this wonderful southern dish.
I have consumed black-eyed peas in many differnent forms, but this year I felt like doing something a little different.
- 12 oz. dried black-eyed peas
- 1/4 cup chopped white onions
- 1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
- 1/4 cup crystalized ginger, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup ham, chopped
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 3/4 cup honey
- 2 TBSP Olive oil
If you are using fresh peas, then skip part one.
Part 1 Rinse and sort peas. In a large pot, cover them with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Let boil for 2 minutes then remove from heat and sit for 1 hour. Drain and set aside. This can be done a day ahead and the peas refrigerated.
Part 2 Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, peppers, ginger, and ham and fry until the onion is very soft. Add the peas to the skillet and stir unitl thoroughly mixed and the peas sizzle and pop in the skillet.
Transfer the mixture into a deep casserole dish. Pour the wine and the honey over the peas, cover, and bake for 1 hour.