Saturday, January 02, 2021

All it takes is the right recipe

My husband is a very easy man to cook for.  I used to tell people, "I can count on one hand the foods he won't eat," and then I'd name the hated foods:  yogurt, oysters, turnips, and black-eyed peas.  I could add grits to the list, but that's something I never cooked until the past couple of years anyway.

Since I discovered allrecipes.com, I seldom use my cookbooks except for the old favorites I've made for years.  I like so many things about that website!  First of all, thousands of people rate the recipes, so if you see a five-star recipe, you can pretty well assume it's going to be good.  Before you use the recipe you might want to read a few reviews, because sometimes there are corrections made to the original recipe that improve it:  for instance, I found the best banana bread recipe I've ever used there; however, the person who posted the recipe said to slice the bananas instead of mashing them.  Common sense told me that would not work, and comments confirmed that.  It's a five-star recipe, but if you follow it exactly, you're going to be getting bites of mushy cooked banana that aren't mixed in with the bread; at least, that's how it seems to me, and reviewers agreed.  Mash the bananas like you always do, and you will have banana bread that could win a prize at the county fair.

For years, I tried to cook creamed turnips that tasted like the ones my mother used to make.  I'd make a white sauce with a little sugar added (because when my mom made them, they were sweet), but they never measured up.  Then one day I surfed my way to allrecipes, put "turnips" in a search, and found Thanksgiving Day Creamed Turnips.  Bingo!  I followed the recipe and I was six years old again, sitting at the kitchen table eating my mother's turnips and asking for more.  Cliff agrees they are better that way, but he still doesn't like the smell of them cooking, so I get to eat them all.  What I'll do is cook a big batch of them, put them in the refrigerator, and eat some heated in the microwave every day until they're gone.  I do that with grits, too.  

Since I mentioned grits:  Neither of us ever understood why anybody would eat grits.  Then I discovered CHEESE grits, and I was hooked.  I've tried various recipes and have a favorite one.  Cliff will eat a small serving of cheese grits now.  He's even asked for some a couple of times.  I found one recipe he liked best, but it isn't my favorite; it has eggs mixed in and is baked in the oven for an hour. 

Every New Year's Day for years I've heated up a can of black-eyed peas for good  luck.  I'm not superstitious, but it's fun to pretend something might bring me good luck.  For several years I have made Ree Drummond's black-eyed pea dip, which both of us liked.  I would have made it this year, but when I went to our nearest small-town store, they didn't seem to have any canned black-eyed peas; so I picked up a bag of dried ones, thinking I'd cook a small amount for my dip and toss the rest.  But when I got up yesterday I decided to see if allrecipes had something different I'd want to try.

If you are a confirmed hater of black-eyed peas like my husband was, you are not going to believe this:  I found a recipe for black-eyed peas we both love, better-tasting than any kind of beans I've ever cooked in my life!  I halved the recipe, but I almost wish I hadn't now:  I could have put portions in the freezer for later.  There's plenty left for today, thank goodness.  We won't be making it in place of other beans because it is so full of unhealthy things, it ought to be against the law:  bacon, bacon grease, ham, butter... oh yes, this recipe is loaded with fat.  But I know what we'll be having on every New Year's Day for whatever brief time is left to us on this earth, and we'll talk about it often throughout the year.  You can find the recipe HERE, but I'm putting it right on my blog so I'll have it for future reference.  Please, all you haters... put your prejudices aside and just try the recipe once.  If Cliff took to it so well, I can't imagine anyone not liking it.  By the way, I did the quick-soak rather than soaking them overnight, and I only cooked them four or five hours.  Even that long seemed ridiculous to me, but since they came out so good, I'll probably keep doing it.

Dave's Georgia Black Eyed Peas
Enjoy and serve with cornbread.
Prep:
15 mins
Cook:
8 hrs 20 mins
Additional:
8 hrs
Total:
16 hrs 35 mins
Servings:
16
Yield:
16 servings
Dave's Georgia Black Eyed Peas

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Rinse, pick over, and place the peas in a large bowl. Cover with several inches of cool water; let stand 8 hours to overnight.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Nutrition Facts

431 calories; protein 20.8g; carbohydrates 31.3g; fat 25.2g; cholesterol 50.8mg; sodium 1176.8mg.

9 comments:

  1. I don't know that I've ever had black eyed peas. I do like turnips though.

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  2. It doesn't say what size a "serving" is but I'm guessing about 3/4 of a cup, maybe less? One serving has 31 grams of carbs, which is 2/3 of the amt of carbs I'm allowed for a lunch or supper. I think I'd probably walk away from the table still hungry after this meal... but it sounds delicious, for sure! I love any kind of beans or lentils or peas... and I usually throw a handful into whatever soup I make. ~Andrea xoxo

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    1. Yeah, I couldn't believe all that fat in it. Sounds like a death wish to me. It will be eaten once a year around here, that'll be it.

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  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. Erin, I accidentally deleted your comment. I hit "delete" instead of reply. But I backed up, copied what you said, and am putting it here.

      "Speaking of turnips, which I've never had the opportunity to taste. I have a Bounty AeroGarden. I ordered a variety of seeds to grow pick and come again greens. They threw in a packet of free kohlrabi seeds. I planted a couple of those in a pod,after I determined the leaves were edible. I know you are all chuckling now. The baby leaves are delicious and a little prickly! Then I was told kohlrabi leaves have a cabbage texture. I found out they were turnip seeds! No wonder they were free! Sorry for hijacking your comment section!"

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  4. Gosh! I've never had either creamed turnips or black eyed peas. Now you've got me curious. Thank you so much for your visit and comment. Have a wonderful 2021!

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  5. I love my cheese grits with a little diced jalapeno in them. I guess I'm what you call an adventurous eater. I will pretty much try anything once. My list of things I don't really care for is pretty short, liver and tripe. Just last night I ate a dish made from pigs ears which while tasty, was a little weird texture wise from what I am used too.

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    1. I add some cayenne pepper, always.

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  6. I did make black eyed pea dip once and loved it. I may have to try this recipe too. Like you say, Not superstition either but willing to believe they might bring some good luck. They say there is some truth in every old folk tale. Anything cooked with bacon is always better.

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