Last night, as we rung in the new year, Christine informed me of her plans to go shopping all day, and asked if I’d be willing to cook the black-eyed peas for our New Year’s Day dinner.
I said “sure, that’d be fun”. She then went to the grocery store to buy all of the ingredients for dinner.
Right before we went to bed, she sent me the recipe for Dave’s Georgia Black Eyed Peas from AllRecipes.com which is what she intedended me to follow.
I didn’t look at it last night, so this morning, I pulled it up to check it out and to assemble the ingredients:
2 pounds dried black-eyed peas
12 cups water
8 cubes chicken bouillon
1 pound bacon
1/2 cup butter
2 large yellow onions, chopped
1 pound cooked ham, cut into bite-size pieces
salt and black pepper to taste
I looked at the above list, and then read over the directions:
1. Rinse, pick over, and place the peas in a large bowl. Cover with several inches of cool water; let stand 8 hours to overnight.
2. Pour the water into a large saucepan or soup pot. Add the bouillon cubes and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the bouillon. Stir in the peas, reduce heat, and bring to a simmer.
3. Place the bacon in a large, deep skillet and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain the bacon slices on a paper towel-lined plate. Crumble the bacon and set aside.
4. Melt the butter in the pan with the bacon grease; cook and stir the onions until they begin to turn brown at the edges, about 10 minutes. Stir the onions and cooking fat into the peas; add the crumbled bacon, ham, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer the peas over low heat for 8 hours, stirring every hour.
We’d agreed last night that since we bought fresh peas, not dried peas, we didn’t need to soak the peas, so I skipped step number one.
I decided to cook and crumble the bacon first, mainly because I was making breakfast, and I figured the kids would want some bacon with their croissants.
After making bacon, letting it dry and crumbling it, I looked around for the onions.
There weren’t any in the refridgerator, so I checked the pantry. Not there either, so I called my wife. She hadn’t bought any… so I skipped the first part of step #4 too… didn’t make any onions.
Next, I figured I’d tackle step number 2: getting the boullion going. So, I checked the pantry for some boullion cubes. I couldn’t find them. So I called my wife. She hadn’t bought any… and thought their might be some chicken stock somewhere in the pantry. There wasn’t.
Now what was I to do? I’d tried to follow my directions, but I could really only accomplish step number three up to this point… so our of four steps, I was only able to complete 1.5 of the 4 so far. Argh… I was a little frustrated.
Then I decided to just improvise. What follows is my recipe for my improvised Bacon and Tenderloin Black Eyed-Peas:
Bacon and Tenderloin Black Eyed-Peas
- 2 pounds fresh black-eyed peas (dry if you can’t find fresh ones)
- 12 cups water
- 1 pound bacon
- 1/2 pound of cooked pork tederloin, seasoned to suit, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1/2 tspn of ground cumin
- 1/2 tspn of ancho chili powder
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and black pepper to taste
- Optional Prep: If you had to use dry black-eyed peas Rinse, pick over, and place the peas in a large bowl. Cover with several inches of cool water; let stand 8 hours to overnight.
- Place the bacon in a large, deep skillet and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain the bacon slices on a paper towel-lined plate. Crumble the bacon and set aside. Save the bacon grease.
- Pour the water into a large saucepan or soup pot. Add the bacon grease, ground cumin and ancho chili powder and bay leaf and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to spread out the seasonings. Stir in the peas, reduce heat, and bring to a simmer.
- Add the prok tenderloin, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer the peas over low heat for 4 hours (8 hours if you started with dried, instead of fresh, peas), stirring every hour.
- Let rest for thirty minutes to an hour, drain of all excess water, serve and eat