Do you cook black-eyed peas or beans or lentils for New Year's? I do! My New Year's tradition includes foods from the many diverse parts of my family: black-eyed peas as introduced to me by my very Southern aunt, lentils and cotechino (sausage) from my Italian family, and dumpling (mandoo) and rice cake (dduk) soup from my Korean side.
Today I'm cooking up a simple batch of black-eyed peas made even simpler due to the fact that you can now get fresh peas (no need to soak) in the produce department of the grocery store. Here's how I do it, but I'd love for you to share your recipe, especially if you make Hoppin' John!
CITYMAMA'S BLACK-EYED PEAS
If you dont have a ham hock, you can use about a cup of diced ham, bacon, or pancetta, just saute it with the onions and garlic. If you use dried beans, you'll need to cook them longer, according to package directions.
- olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 5-6 cloves of garlic, smashed
- 4 bay leaves (I like a lot of bay flavor, and it makes a difference in this dish)
- 1 ham hock
- about 48 ounces of fresh black-eyed peas (I like the Foodology brand found at Whole Foods)
- salt and pepper to taste
In a large Dutch oven, saute the onion, garlic, and bay leaves in a couple three of glugs of olive oil over medium heat until onions are soft and translucent. Add the ham hock and the peas and enough cold water until the peas are just covered. Bring to a boil, skim off any foamy impurities, then reduce heat to simmer for about 15 minutes, until beans are tender. Let sit, covered, for at least an hour so that ham flavors and pea flavors have time to meld. Drain water, remove bay leaves and ham hock (and if desired, shred any ham on the bone and add it to the pot). Salt and pepper to taste, but I find it doesn't need salt.
Happy New Year!