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    Black-Eyed Peas

    Source of Recipe

    From "A Real Southern Cook in Her Savannah Kitchen" by Dora Charles

    Recipe Introduction

    "These are *the* peas in the South, unless you count the Lowcountry red field peas we like to use for Hoppin' John, the good-luck dish you are *required* to serve on New Year's Day. Like all peas and beans, black-eyes are even better the next day, as long as they're properly seasoned and you haven't overcooked them, so it's worth making enough for two days. By not overcooked, I mean the peas should be firm but tender, so check them often as they near the end of their cooking time."

    List of Ingredients

    ◦ 1 ½ cups (½ pound) dried black-eyed peas
    ◦ 6 slices smoked hog jowl or thick-sliced slab bacon, cut into 2-inch pieces
    ◦ 8 cups hot water
    ◦ Pinch of sugar
    ◦ 1 tablespoon Dora's Savannah Seasoning (recipe follows)
    ◦ 3 chicken bouillon cubes
    ◦ 1 clove garlic, chopped


    Pick over the peas and remove any stones or broken peas. Rinse and soak them, completely covered in cold water, until you're ready to cook them. (I don't soak them overnight.)

    Fry the hog jowl or bacon pieces slowly in a deep heavy pot with a lid. When they're golden brown, scoop them out of the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside; leave the cooking fat in the pot.

    Add the hot water and everything else, including the drained peas, to the pot and raise the heat. When the water comes to a rapid boil, add the hog jowl or bacon pieces, cover, and cook over medium-low heat for about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Check the pot beginning at 1 hour and 15 minutes to see if the peas are firm-tender—as soon as they are, take them off the heat. Serve the peas hot with their potlikker, save for the next day, or use to make a dish of Hoppin' John.

    Serves 8

    ❧ Dora's Savannah Seasoning:

    "I keep this basic spicy seasoning mix in a little jar by the stovetop; I use it that often. It's good with almost everything from eggs to chicken to pork and even some vegetables, and you can save yourself a little time making it up ahead. Always taste what you're cooking once it's gone in, because you may find you need a little more of one or two elements to bring up the flavor."

    ◦ ⅓ cup Lawry's Seasoned Salt
    ◦ ¼ cup salt
    ◦ 2 scant tablespoons granulated garlic or garlic powder
    ◦ 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

    In a small bowl, mix everything together very thoroughly.
    Store the seasoning in a tightly sealed glass jar. It will keep for up to three months.

    Makes about ⅔ cup




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