Southern BBQ Black-Eyed Peas

Recipe- Southern BBQ Black-Eyed BeansThis is a simple dish that goes with just about anything on or off the barbecue.  Whether you enjoy a mountain of grilled veggies or some delicious grilled ribs, these black eyed peas will complete (or be) any meal with little effort.  This recipe offers the option of starting from cans (of beans) or going even closer to the source and starting with dried black eyed peas.  If you usually reach for the convenience of the can, I encourage you to break out of your comfort zone and go for the dried (bean) version this time.  While it adds one (simple) step, it enables the beans to absorb as much of the soulful BBQ flavors as possible.  Soaking the beans in advance allows the beans to cook evenly as well as being rumored to cut down on ‘emissions’ (a good Mythbusters experiment perhaps?).  The night prior to making this recipe simply placed the black eyed peas in a bowl, cover with water, and that is the extent of the soaking process (it can also be done the morning of as well, but 6-8 hours is a proper soak).  Prior to cooking, the beans are drained, rinsed, and ready to use. Easy!  Aside from having a reputation of bringing good luck, black eyed peas hail from the abundantly healthy legume family.  This recipe has what most of us equate to a good barbecue- a little sweetness, a little smokiness, a little spice, and a whole lotta love.  Enjoy them with your favorite barbecue meal and you’ll find yourself reaching for one more scoop.

For the Black Eyed Peas:

2 T. olive oil
1 T. cumin seeds
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 large sweet organic carrot (or two small ones), cut into ½ moons
1 jalapeno, finely minced (preferably a red jalapeno)
2 bay leaves
2 cups dried black eyed peas, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed (or 2 cans of black eyed peas, rinsed)
1 T tomato paste
2 T ketchup
1 T Dijon mustard
½ T. adobo sauce (from canned chipotle) or ½ chipotle w/adobo if you like a lot of heat
8 cups of hot water (or enough to cover bean mixture by an inch)
2 T. apple cider vinegar
2 T. Sweetree raw honey
1 tsp sea salt
*Tabasco or other hot sauce to finish
Place olive oil in medium sized soup pot over medium high heat.  When oil is hot (20-30 seconds), add cumin seeds and let sizzle for a quick minute or until aromatic.  Add onion, garlic, carrot, jalapeno, bay leaves and sauté for 10-15 minutes until opaque and beginning to brown.  Add black eyed peas, tomato paste, ketchup, mustard, adobo sauce and enough hot water to cover pea mixture by an inch.  Bring to boil, give a good stir.  Reduce heat, cover with lid and simmer for 1 ½ or 2 hours (until peas are cooked through).  Check on liquid mid way and if it gets lower than beans, add a little more hot water.  *Note if you are using canned beans, this time is reduced to 30 minutes as you don’t need to cook the peas*.  When peas are cooked, add cider vinegar, brown sugar and salt and give a good stir.  Taste and if needed, add more salt to your liking and if you’re looking for a little more sweetness, feel free to add a tablespoon of honey or brown sugar.

by Sarah Wadsworth - The Seasonal Alchemist

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