"This is a journey of my life since I was all of 12 yrs when I started my hand in cooking to now with displays of my learning and creations of recipes from around the world. My inspiration and role model has always been my Mum who has always created dishes from around the world and excellently well. I do not believe I would ever match to her culinary skills. I remember the times she could cook and bake almost 4-5 dishes in one go without ever letting one go under cooked or burnt! I was born and raised in Dubai, UAE and recently moved to India for family reasons. Kitchenette just means that over the decades, my kitchen has changed from that of my mum's to my uncle and aunt's, to my home in UAE and now in India. Pala't'te, describes both global cuisines ('Palatte'-diverse flavours) and pleasing diverse 'Palates'."

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Creole Black Eyed Peas with Ham and Rice - A New Year Special

In bright expectation for the New Year, most Southerns (Southern United States), include Black Eyed Peas in their menu. The reason? It is said to bring prosperity and in some parts of the world it is believed to ward off the evil eye. Hoppin' John is another such Lucky New Year recipe which can be made with bacon or ham and black-eyed peas. Black-eyed peas is said to bring about luck and hence it forms a part of G'Gina's Kitchenette's New Year Lucky food.You can also serve this dish with Pasta if you do not fancy rice much. In other parts of the world like Vietnam, black eyed peas is also used in a sweet dish called chè đậu trắng (black eyed peas and sticky rice with coconut milk).

This recipe is best cooking through slow cooking process over 6-8 hrs in a slow cooker.

 You need:

  • 500 gms of black-eyed peas
  • 600 gms of ham, diced
  • 500 gms of smoked sausage, diced 
  • 4 - 6 cups of water
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 large bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup of  fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 large shallot, diced
  • 4-6 onions, diced
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp Cayenne pepper or Paprika
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cajun pepper (optional)
  • Drizzle of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup of Homemade Tomato Puree
  • A shake of dried oregano and dried thyme
  • Cooked rice of your choice or pasta of your choice as desired
  • Spring onions or green onions to garnish (optional)
The make:

Preparation Time: 20 minutes | Cooking Time: 1 hr to 8 hrs (depending on whether you are opting for slow cooking) | Serves 6-8 adults

1. Rinse and soak the black-eyed peas overnight with 3-4 cups of water more than the level of the peas in a deep bottomed vessel.
2. Drain the peas and place it in the slow cooker or a deep-bottomed pot with 4-6 cups of water. Add the ham to the pot.
3. Add in the remaining ingredients except the rice and garnish.

4. Turn the temperature of the slow cooker on the low (the same with the deep bottomed pot). Cover and cook. If using a slow cooker, cook for about 6-8 hrs and after about 5-6 hours, check to see if more water is required and give in a quick stir. If using the pot, then check in about 20-25 minutes and raise the temperature to medium, cover and cook.
5. If the peas seems too thick, add more water to desired consistency and cook for up to an hour in the deep-bottomed pot or up to 8 hrs in the slow cooker.

6. Serve over hot rice or choice of cooked pasta with garnish (optional).

You can also make this dish without the ham and sausage. It will taste just as good! G'Gina's Kitchenette would like to wish all of its readers a very Happy New Year 2013 in advance.

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