Grow. Cook. Grub. Featuring Smoky Black-eyed Peas | Civil Eats

Grow. Cook. Grub. Featuring Smoky Black-eyed Peas

terry_70081

In response to some of the worst economic times since the Great Depression, I’m excited to launch my “Grow. Cook. Grub.” series.  With unemployment climbing, diet-related illnesses increasing, and health care costs sky-rocketing, more and more people are looking to feed themselves healthfully, simply, and cheaply.  Using my family and community as an example, I will show readers how easy it is to cook health-promoting, delicious, and inexpensive meals year round using food from my home garden, CSA, and local farmer’s markets. Smoky Black-eyed Peas Yield: 8 to 10 servings Soundtrack:  “Money Jungle” by Duke Ellington With Charles Mingus & Max Roach from Money Jungle If you’ve read my first book, Grub, you already know that eating black-eyed peas and greens on New Year’s Day is a ritual among Southerners to help usher in a year of good luck and prosperity (bep = copper and greens = dollars).  I forgot to buy black eyed-peas before New Year’s Day, so I was in a bit of a panic trying to get my hands on some to cook up before the day ended (since most stores were closed).  I called a few friends to see if anyone had some that they could share with me, and my neighbor Luna had a bag of fresh black-eyed peas that she had bought from the Mandela’s Farmer’s Market in West Oakland.  Score. This is the recipe that I created with Luna’s fresh peas.  I made a larger serving so that I could give her half.  I had most of the staples on hand, and I got the fresh herbs from my front-yard planter boxes.  If using dried black-eyed peas reduce the amount of peas to 1 1/2 cup then sort, soak, drain, and rinse them before cooking.  Like most beans, this dish tastes much more flavorful after they have sat in the broth overnight. 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1 large onion, diced 4 cloves garlic, minced 3 cups fresh black-eyed peas 1 (3-inch) piece kombu 2 large dried chipotle chilies Simple Stock (see recipe below) 1 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme White pepper • In a skillet over low heat, warm the oil.  Add the onion and sauté until the onions start to caramelize, about 10 minutes. • Stir in the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes more. • Transfer the mixture to a medium saucepan.  Add the black-eyed peas, kombu, chiles, and enough Simple Stock to cover. • Over high heat, bring to a boil.  Quickly reduce the heat to medium and simmer, covered, until almost tender, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Add the salt and simmer for another 15 minutes, until tender.  Add the thyme and cook for 5 more minutes.  Remove kombu with a slotted spoon. • Season with white pepper to taste and serve hot with or without the gravy along with greens and cornbread. Simple Stock Yield:  about 1 1/2 quart Soundtrack: “Home” by The Modern Jazz Quartet from Blues At Carnegie Hall This stock is all-purpose and can be used whenever a vegetable stock is called for.  In addition to the suggested ingredients below, you can add the tough stems and trimmings from leafy greens and other vegetables. 2 large onions, quartered (include skin) 1 large carrot, thinly sliced 4 celery ribs, thinly sliced 8 ounces button mushrooms, thinly sliced (stems included) 1 whole garlic bulb, unpeeled, broken up, and smashed with the back of a knife 2 bay leaves 3 sprigs fresh thyme 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper 9 cups water • In a stockpot over medium-high heat combine all the ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, uncovered until the vegetables are meltingly tender, about 1 hour. • Strain the vegetables, pressing down on them to extract all their liquids.  Discard (and compost) the cooked vegetables.

We’ll bring the news to you.

Get the weekly Civil Eats newsletter, delivered to your inbox.

Today’s food system is complex.

Invest in nonprofit journalism that tells the whole story.

Bryant Terry is an Oakland-based eco chef, food justice activist and author of Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen (Tarcher/Penguin) and the forthcoming Vegan Soul Kitchen: Fresh, Healthy, and Creative African American Cuisine (March 2009 Da Capo/Perseus). His work has been featured in Gourmet, Food and Wine, The San Francisco Chronicle, Domino, and many other publications. Read more >

Like the story?
Join the conversation.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. WORD!

    Bryant, great recipe! Black eyed peas, purple hull, crowder peas. Whew!

    Most important foods, amazing blood sugar regulators.

More from

General

Featured

Popular

California Takes a Step Toward Restricting Bee-Killing Pesticides

Close-up of honey bee pollinating almond blossom in Northern California almond orchard. California contributes over 80% to the worldwide almond market with many of those almonds being grown in Butte County.

As the Infant Formula Shortage Drags On, Food and Farm Workers Focus on Breast-Feeding

Mother breastfeeding her son at home

How an American Crisis Brought Together US Dairy Farmers and Mexican Farmworkers

Ruth Conniff and the cover of her book, Milked, about the dairy industry and dairy workers

From Farmland to Frac Sand

An overhead view of US Silica's frac sand mine in La Salle County, Illinois. This mine is in front of Diane and Phil Gassman's home. (Photo courtesy of Ted Auch)