Chambersville black-eyed peas and rice

The other day I took dinner to my family at our farm in Chambersville. My mother was in town helping her uncle with a family business, and since I knew she and her grandmother were probably having a busy day, I decided that homemade food would be welcome.

This year, for the first time out of many, we had a harvest of black-eyed peas. It has always been said that black dirt in our little Texas piece produces the best peas, and I agree. It’s been too long and I’ve forgotten how they can taste fresh and vibrant, even when dried and a few months old.

My uncle gave me a pound for Christmas, and that day I cooked a pot in anticipation of sharing a new recipe on the blog. When I decided to cook dinner for everyone, I worked with the black-eyed peas I had already prepared and made up the whole meal.

Over the last month, I’ve been testing ham recipes, so I’ve taken a few slices of flour tortillas and grated Monterey Jack and Cheddar to make quesadillas with ham and cheese. I also cooked Spanish rice for the peas. In the end, I made a pico de gallo with avocado because I only had one, which was not enough for guacamole, but was a creamy accent of fresh salsa.

Chambersville Black-eyed Peas and Rice  Texan misses home

Today, my grandmother decrees that she no longer prefers onions or hot peppers, so while I already threw jalapeno into the peas, I only used sweet red peppers. There were no hot peppers in the rice either.

The food was homemade and easy, and while I was working with the ingredients I needed to use from the fridge, everyone agreed that it tasted good and fresh. I was glad I could cook for them.

When we cleared the table to make room for the peach shoemaker, which I also baked, Grandma suggested that we take the remaining rice and mix it with the black-eyed peas, because there was quite a bit of aromatic broth left in it. She thought the two of them would make a good meal together.

Chambersville Black-eyed Peas and Rice  Texan misses home

I agree and now I will share with you this combination – slow cooked black-eyed peas with lots of garlic, bacon and spices along with a little Spanish rice with tomatoes and garlic. Rice and beans are a classic combination and this view of North Texas is a great way to feed the family and welcome the new year.

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Chambersville Black-eyed Peas and Rice  Texan misses home

Chambersville black-eyed peas and rice

For black-eyed peas:

  • 8
    ounce
    uncooked bacon
  • 1
    jalapeño, seeds and diced
  • 4
    clove
    garlic, minced
  • 1
    cup
    dried black-eyed peas
  • 2
    teaspoons
    salt
  • 1
    a tea spoon
    chili powder
  • 1
    a tea spoon
    ground cumin
  • 1
    a tea spoon
    dried oregano
  • Tweak
    cayenne
  • 1
    Bay leaf
  • 4
    cups
    water or broth
  • Pickled jalapeños, for serving

On rice:

  • 1
    a tea spoon
    olive oil
  • 2
    clove
    garlic, minced
  • 1
    a tea spoon
    ground cumin
  • 1
    a tea spoon
    dried oregano
  • 1
    a tea spoon
    kosher salt
  • 1
    spoon
    tomato paste
  • ¾
    cup
    uncooked long grain rice
  • 1 ½
    cups
    water
  • 1
    spoon
    lime juice
  1. For black-eyed peas in a large pot, fry the bacon crispy on a medium flame, turn once. Remove the bacon from the pot and leave the fat in it.

  2. Add jalapenos to the pot and cook until soft, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.

  3. Add black-eyed peas, salt, chili powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper, bay leaf and water to the pot. Cut the cooked bacon into pieces and add to the pot. Bring the pot to a boil, then bring the flame to a minimum and cover the pot. Peas stew covered for 1 1/2 hours.

  4. After 1 ½ hour, remove the lid and test the peas to see where they are in fragility. Continue cooking the peas uncovered until it has the desired texture, which can take from 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the peas.

  5. Once the peas are soft, taste and add more salt and season as needed. Serve warm with pickled jalapeños on the side.

  6. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil to a moderately low temperature on the rice in a pan with a thick bottom. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in cumin, oregano, salt and tomato paste until well combined. Add the rice and stir until well combined with the tomato paste and spices.

  7. Pour water, raise the temperature and cook without a lid until boiling. When cooking, cover the pot, reduce the flame to minimum and cook for 20 minutes. After this time, turn off the heat and leave it on the lid for another 10 minutes.

  8. Remove the lid, fluff the rice and then stir in the lime juice. Taste and adjust the spices to taste. Garnish with coriander. Serve with black-eyed peas.

It will serve 4 as a main course or 8 as a side dish. The recipe only requires 1 cup instead of the usual 2 cups because you combine peas with rice. This means you can double it if you prefer more peas!

David Berry

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