I wanted a side dish to go with my ham steak and roasted vegetables. I know that Jan does not like black eyed peas, but I do. She can just eat more of the vegetables and leave the black eyed peas for me.
Note: Jan, of course, now denies that she ever said that she did not like black eyed peas. But whenever I have suggested making “Hoppin’ John” she has rejected the idea.
Black eyed peas is Southern a “poor folk” food that made it big. Before the Civil War, only the poorest people would eat them because they were usually fed to the pigs and horses. During Sherman’s March to the Sea the Northern soldiers did not bother burning the fields of black eyed peas as being not worth the bother. When you are starving and it is the only thing you have, even the humblest of foods is a feast.
Karl’s Southern Black Eyed Peas
2 Tbs. butter
¼ cup yellow onion, finely diced
¼ cup celery, finely diced
½ tsp. Kosher salt
¼ cup ham, finely diced
3 cups frozen black eyed peas
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 Tbs. parsley, chopped
1. Melt the butter in a medium pan, over medium high heat. Sauté the onions and celery with the salt until soft, about five minutes.
Tip: If you wish, you may replace the ham with bacon. Fry the bacon in the pot and leave out the butter. Sauté the vegetables in the bacon grease and stir in the crumbled bacon just before serving.
2. Add the ham and continue cooking until the onions are just starting to pick up some color, 3-4 minutes more.
3. Add the frozen peas and chicken broth. Bring the pot to a boil, cover and reduce the heat.
Note: Frozen black eyed peas take much less time to cook than dried peas and they are much less salty than the canned ones. Fresh would be better, but very few places outside of the South have them on a regular basis.
4. Simmer for 25-30 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated.
5. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with the parsley.