Black-eyed Peas bring good luck for 2010

Happy New Years everyone! Here is a very tasty way to bring in the New Year. Aside from soothing the stomach from the beers consumed from the evening before, its has been a long-standing tradition to eat a bowl of black-eyed peas, also known as the cow pea, to bring luck for the year to come.

During the time of the civil war Union troops, led by General William T. Sherman, looted and destroyed all food supplies they could in the south. At the time the black-eyed pea was only considered suitable for raising livestock so it was left alone.

As the beans cook they swell and represent prosperity, combine that with a little cured pork product and you have your self a prosperous and tasty bowl of beans.

The following recipe is pretty basic. You can fill it out with the addition of collard greens, hot sauce and corn bread.

Cheers,
Dana MacAuley, Head Chef

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds fresh black-eyed peas, rinsed, drained

8 to 12 ounces bacon, diced

1 1/2 cups chopped onion

1 cup chopped red and green bell pepper

1/2 cup chopped celery

1 clove garlic, minced

1 1/2 cups water

1 can (approx. 14.5 ounces) fire-roasted diced tomatoes, or chili-seasoned tomatoes

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried leaf oregano

Preparation:

1. Put rinsed fresh black-eyed peas in a 4 to 6-quart slow cooker.
2. Cook bacon in a large skillet until softened; add onions, peppers, and celery and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until vegetables are tender. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute longer
3. Add the vegetable mixture to the slow cooker along with the water. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 7 hours, or until peas are tender. Add remaining ingredients and continue cooking for 1 to 2 hours longer.

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