Growing up in Oklahoma, I was always told to eat black eyed peas on New Years Day so I would have luck all year long. I never really liked black eyed peas. I never really liked plain beans of any kind, and that was the only way my family cooked beans. Bleck.
Even though they were ick, I would always choke down at least a spoonful to make my dad happy, and besides, maybe, just maybe it actually works. Who couldn’t use some extra luck?
As I’m sliding in to adulthood (kicking and screaming), my family’s traditions are starting to take on a lot more meaning. I’ve lost most of the core of my family over the last few years, so continuing these traditions is a way for me to keep these loved ones in my life, even though they are physically gone.
I want to keep these traditions alive, but it doesn’t mean I have to eat yucky plain beans. This year, I set out to find a delicious new recipe, a new tradition of black eyed peas that I would actually want to eat.
When I started asking around about a good black eyed pea recipe for New Years Day, all I got in return was blank stares. No one up here knew what I was talking about! I did some reading, and it turns out black eyed peas are definitely a Southern tradition, one with a fascinating history originating in the Civil War and even dating back as far as 500 CE in the Jewish tradition.
A little trolling on my favorite recipe website, and I was ready to take on the resurrection of the black eyed pea.
Black Eyed Pea Recipe
I firmly believe that for best results, beans should be slow cooked in a crock pot. This recipe is intended to be cooked in a crock pot. If you want to do stove top, you may need to adjust the liquids to make sure it doesn’t cook off. I don’t have a lot of positive experience with stove top slow cooking, so go with what you know.
Prepare the ham, onions, garlic, jalapeno, and red bell pepper as directed.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Saute the chopped ingredients, starting with the garlic, onions and jalapeno. Once the onion has begun to soften, add the red bell pepper and ham. Continue to saute until all ingredients have a nice light sear. Finish with salt and pepper.
While the chopped ingredients saute, combine the water, chicken better than bouillon, cayenne and cumin in the crock pot.
Stir well to dissolve.
Once the bouillon is fully incorporated, add the black eyed peas.
Carefully pour or spoon the sauteed ingredients in to the crock pot (don’t splash!).
Stir ingredients together to blend.
Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours until the beans are tender.
I waayyy overslept on the dinner plans for this meal, so I needed a quick cornbread solution. Beans need cornbread but my original plans for a cornbread casserole was going to take over an hour and I just didn’t have that kind of time.
I happened to notice a recipe on the side of the Jiffy box for corn pancakes or WAFFLES (!) so I broke out the trusty old waffle iron and made these delicious savory corn waffles in under 10 minutes.
1 – Package Jiffy corn muffin mix
1 – Egg
2 – Tbsp butter melted
3/4 – Cup milk ( I used powdered milk and water)
1 – Can green chiles
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
Heat the waffle iron to medium high heat.
I did a scant 1/2 c on to the heated waffle iron.
As you can see, it didn’t quite fill up the waffle iron to make 4 full quarters, so you may want to do a little fuller of a 1/2 cup to make perfect pretty corn waffles.
Now Put it All Together:
Rough chop some kale and throw a handful in the bottom of the bowl. Spoon the hot black eyed peas over the kale and enjoy delicious good luck all year long!
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