Black eyed peas for New Years is definitely a southern tradition, and one I was raised on. Eating them is supposed to bring prosperity for the new year. Of course my grandmother always fixed a pot of black eyes with a ham hock and goodness knows what other fabulous tidbits. Over the years I personally have tried dips, salsas, soups, etc., etc., in a hopeless attempt to get my husband to like them. It never works… until this year! I summoned him timidly into the kitchen to just take a bite, judge me, and leave with disdain about the flavor in his mouth; but, merrily to my surprise he asked if he could eat the whole thing and disappeared with the plate.
So tomorrow for New Years if you are looking for something fun or if you happen to love black eyed peas just any ol’ day of the year:
BLACK EYED PEA CAKES
- vegetable oil, plus more for frying
- 3 slices of bacon, we like applewood smoked
- 1 small onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice (1/2 to 3/4 cup)
- 3 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon marjoram
- 1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- pinch of crushed red pepper, or more to taste
- Two 15-ounce cans black eyed peas, drained
- 1/2 cups plain dry bread crumbs
- 1 3/4 cups panko bread crumbs, for coating
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- Sour cream, avocado, or my favorite pico de gallo, for serving
Keep in mind you can use more spices or the spices of your choice.
This recipe is VERY adaptable. Feel free to add veggies, omit, or even exchange the type of beans!
In a medium skillet, cook bacon over medium heat. Meanwhile, drain the juice from your two cans of beans. Once, cooked to desired doneness – set aside on paper towel to drain.
*Tip: Omit bacon and use 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil to make this recipe vegetarian! ❤ These would make a great meal with a salad!
Add the onion to bacon grease and lower heat. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until softened; add garlic and continue cooking for 1 minute or until fragrant. (for things like this I like to use my microplane to grate the garlic extra fine) Remove onions and garlic from grease and also drain on paper towel before adding to food processor.
Chop up the bacon into 1/4 inch dice. Add one can of drained black eyes (about 1 3/4 cups), bacon, onion, garlic, seasoning, and bread crumbs to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is finely chopped but not smooth. Scrape the mixture into a medium bowl.
Mix in the remaining whole beans and taste.
Now you can increase seasoning or add salt and pepper. Fresh herbs or even fried herbs would be lovely. We like the saltiness as is and if I had my way we’d add fresh diced chilies at this point. FYI…
Form the mixture into 1/4-cup patties, about 1/2 inch thick. Makes 10-12.
Put the flour, beaten eggs, and the panko bread crumbs into 3 shallow bowls.Dust each black eyed patty with the flour, tapping off the excess. Dip the patty in the egg and then roll in the panko, pressing gently so that the bread crumbs adhere.
In a large skillet, (I prefer frying in cast iron) heat 1/8 inch of oil until shimmering. Add the cakes and fry over moderate heat until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. I use a 12 inch skillet for frying and I like to do about 4 patties at a time. It keeps the heat of the oil from dropping to drastically when adding them and it allows them to cook quickly and evenly since they aren’t crowded!
Drain on paper towels. Serve with about 2 Tablespoon of pico per cake or with sour cream, avocado, scallions… your options go on and on. This being Texas I think pico is the perfect way to serve this as an appetizer. The bite of the raw onion, the sweetness of the tomato, and the touch of heat from the jalapeño really brings the whole thing to life. I do not think they would be as good without some kind of condiment, so keep that in mind when you make them.
Here’s hoping that all your New Years traditions ring true and prosperous.
Remember to make everyday in 2014 amazing, even if your resolutions don’t make it all the way through with you! ❤
Happy 2014 y’all – I hope it’s your best year yet!
*Adapted from http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/crispy-black-bean-cakes-with-sour-cream-and-avocado