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Monday, April 12, 2010

Black-Eyed Pea Casserole - Blue Monday

Featured on Amuse Bouche the blog for Where Women Cook.




Photo Courtesy of EV Photos

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Barbecue season is rapidly approaching and with it come large gatherings of family and friends. This casserole is wonderful for picnics, barbecues or covered dish suppers. It was develop years ago for my Southern son-in-law who, as luck would have it, has yet to taste it. It is an economical dish and that makes it perfect for church suppers or organization picnics. Anyone who has ever managed one of these affairs knows the importance of foods that are inexpensive and allow dollars to be stretched as far as possible. The black-eyed pea, which is actually a bean, originated in Asia and was brought to the United States by slave traders. This small beige bean has a black circular "eye" at its inner curve. While originally grown as animal fodder, the beans, which are also called cowpeas, have become popular and are associated with good luck. Prior to the siege of Vicksburg during the American Civil War, the beans were used exclusively for feeding cattle. The siege lasted for 40 days and the people of the town were forced to eat cowpeas to avoid starvation. That started a southern tradition and nowadays they are eaten by some on New Year's Day to bring good luck in the coming year. The beans have been associated with luck and fortune since the days of the pharaohs. The superstitious believe that those who eat the humble cowpea show humility and will be protected from the wrath that will be visited on the vain. Fortunately, there are no meteor showers or thunderbolts tonight, so we can talk a bit about the casserole. It is very easy to make but plan on lead time for soaking the beans. Many feel this is not necessary, but I think the dish has better texture when the beans are soaked for 8 hours before proceeding with the recipe. If you want a completely vegan dish, saute the onions in vegetable oil. If you love bacon, fry four rashers of diced bacon and use the drippings to saute the onions. The bacon adds enormous flavor to the dish and I recommend using it if you can. As with all casseroles, flavor improves if the dish is allowed to sit overnight. That's it. Here's the recipe.

Black-Eyed Pea Casserole...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite

Ingredients:
2 cups dried black-eyed peas, rinsed and soaked overnight in cold water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Optional: 4 slices bacon, diced
2 cups finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons molasses
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon ground mustard powder
1/4 cup tomato paste or tomato catsup
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 large bay leaf
1 spring each fresh rosemary, thyme and sage
1 small orange
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Drain and rinse soaked beans. Place in a heavy bottomed sauce pan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse again. Place into a 3-quart to 4-quart casserole.
2) While beans are boiling, heat oil in a large skillet. If using bacon, add to skillet and saute until bacon is brown. Add onions and saute over medium heat until softened and transparent, about 5 minutes. Stir in honey, molasses, soy sauce, mustard and tomato paste or catsup. Pour in stock and bring to a boil. Pour mixture over beans in casserole.
3) Tie bay leaf and herbs together with a piece of string and add to pot. Pare 3 wide strips of zest from orange. Mix zest and black pepper into bean mixture. Bring to a boil. Cover pot and transfer to oven. Bake for 1 hour.
4) Meanwhile, combine juice from orange with cornstarch and blend to form a smooth paste.
5) At end of hour, remove casserole from oven. Stir in paste and diced red peppers. Return casserole to oven, cover, and bake for 1 hour longer, or until beans are very tender.
6) Remove orange rind and herbs. Garnish with parsley and serve while hot. Yield 4 to 6 servings.

You might also enjoy these recipes:
Tuscan Bean Soup - One Perfect Bite
Chocolate and Black Bean Chili - One Perfect Bite
Mexican Black Bean Salad - One Perfect Bite
Smoked Ham Soup with White Beans - The Recipe Girl
Creamy Navy Bean Soup with Chicken - Poor Girl Eats Well
Navy Bean and Refried Bean Stew - Kalyn's Kitchen

This post is being linked to:
Smiling Sally - Blue Monday

75 comments :

Coffeeveggie addict. said...

looks yummy though its not vegetarian...surely everyone likes it...

Ann said...

What a great looking dish! I'll certainly be trying it. Thanks for posting and sharing it. : )

Joy said...

O Yum. I just love this dish. Definitely one for my Comfort Food page.
Thanks for all the info about this darling Black-Eyed Pea too!

Debinhawaii said...

It looks both hearty and delicious!

Sushma Mallya said...

Very beautiful looking casserole, looks delicious as well..hope you had a great weekend mary

Cherine said...

this is a great casserole!!

Angie's Recipes said...

A hearty and pretty bean casserole!

LittleRed said...

I have such poor luck with store bought dried beans.....they never seem to get tender for me! I love baked beans though, so I keep on trying....plus I've got an adorable new (to me) little bean crock I must try out:) Thanks for sharing....it sounds delicious!

Kamalika said...

Hi, Mary the dish is wonderful...but loved the snap of the ducks....and the intro is a nice read too....

DailyChef said...

Wow this looks very good. And thanks for the quick history lesson. Always enjoy your introductions.

♥Sugar♥Plum♥Fairy♥ said...

Mary...happy monday to u and this is absolutely delicious.....
cheers and happy day to ya sweety...

Devaki said...

Oh Yum, Mary - What wonderful flavors with the black eyed peas and the molasses and the bacon..WOW! I just want to dig in :)

Ciao, Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

MaryMoh said...

Beans are so good in casserole though I'm not very good in cooking them. This looks very delicious I would love to try.

Anna said...

Ciao Mary! the flavors and colours of this dish makes me want to try it! :-)

Ana Powell said...

Beautiful, great looking dish x

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

Mary, I like the 1st shot, look awesome, it must be taste really good. Have a nice day.

lostpastremembered said...

I never knew that about those beans.. cow fodder? I love the stories and the history. The photo is wonderful with the fabric that matches the beans.. how did you manage it!!!

Hootin' Anni said...

I l♥ve black-eyed peas!!! This will be something I make. Thanks for the recipe.

And your mallard ducks photo? Priceless.

Allie and Pattie said...

Mary, as a fairly new Southerner, I've been learning about black eyed peas ( and collard, and b'bque!) I'll definitely try this as we are in the process of doing our yearly yard and deck clean-up in anticipation of a summer of grilling!
xoxo Pattie

Joanne said...

I love black-eyed peas. This is definitely perfect to bring to a barbecue...it might even get my family to like beans!

A Year on the Grill said...

such beautiful photos... they just sound wonderful

Marisa said...

That is one goodlooking casserole! Mine always ends up looking like sludge. ;-)

From the Kitchen said...

You have raised this dish to a new level. As a "child" of the south, I insist on having black-eyed peas in some form on the table every January 1. I've given up on making sure that the first person though the door is male. Or is it supposed to be female???

Best,
Bonnie

Alecia said...

i have a big smile on my face- I live in cow pea country- seriously - there is a festival for them in my state- that said- i will be making this recipe this summer when I harvest my pink eye purple hull peas- like the additions you add at the end-seems like it would lighter up the flavor. Molasses is always good to add to southern food!!!

taylor (greens and chocolate) said...

This looks hearty and delicious! I have a bag of black eyed peas that I've been wondering what to do with...thanks for the idea!

Lori said...

Interesting story about the black eyed pea. So glad they discovered it was yummy for people.

figtree said...

I cant wait to try this..what a treat!

Becky K. said...

You are so right about the need for inexpensive but tasty dishes for covered dish meals. We have fellowship meals at our church every other week. It is always interesting to come up with dishes to take. I'll be adding this to my list.
Thanks!
Oh, and I wouldn't think of losing the bacon! Love that flavor with beans!

Becky K
Hospitality Lane

The Domestic Adventurer said...

This looks great! I love black-eyed-peas, especially with a touch of sweetness. Nice!

gengen said...

Oh looks delicious...happy blue Monday.

bj said...

Black-eyes are one of my favorites.
and we DO eat them on New Year's Day.
Thanks for this great sounding recipe...
xo bj

Mama Ko said...

Another mouth watering food you have shared here Ms. Mary. Thank you

View mine here

SmilingSally said...

I'm a Northerner who has always eaten black-eyed peas on New Year's Day, with corn bread, of course! Happy Blue Monday, Mary.

LV said...

Just dropping by to say hello and have lunch with you. How I would love to have a big plate of all you featured today.

Kim said...

Mary - Your picture of this recipe is absolutely gorgeous! You made black-eyed peas look fantastic:D I'm a bean lover and agree with you, when allowed to sit overnight the flavor greatly improves.

MyThoughtsMyVoice said...

I like the story behind it. Those beans have gone through a lot :-) And how nice, what it symbolized :-)

Happy Blue MOnday, Mary!

Jeannie said...

Informative write up and beautiful casserole dish...looks yummy!

Claudia said...

This is in my future. Inexpensive, handy, filled with sweet and salt - perfect!

Mary Ann said...

This looks really delicious- I have wanted to cook more with black-eyed peas, but really don't know what to do with them. I will have to try this!

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

This recipe looks fantastic for those cold winter days. I am not sure we can get Black-Eyed Peas in France but I am sure I can find something similar. A definite on the 'to do' list. Diane

Maria said...

Great casserole! Happy Monday Mary:)

Federica said...

mmmmmmmmmmmmm..deve essere squisita!! complimenti!

Valérie said...

I never knew there was so much history behind the black-eyed pea... An informative post, and a great recipe!

Mary said...

Lostpastremembered, that is a bamboo-like place mat. It lacks vibrancy when photographed and looks muddy, so I don't use it often. It did work here, however. Hope all is well. I'm still dreaming of duck rillettes.

Mary said...

Bonnie :-). I suppose it depends on whose doing the cooking.

Sage said...

I have never cooked black eyed peas; we don't see that around here very much. You inspire to try this recipe out next time I have my kids visiting; sounds good. Love your photos.
Rita

Gulmohar said...

Fabulous dish..Can't wait to start barbecuing :-)Have a great week Mary :-)

♥ Kathy said...

I cook black eyed peas often and will have to try this recipe. It looks wonderful!

Jagruti said...

Dish looks good, I make totally vegetarian way!!great clicks..

Bella said...

This sounds like a great addition to our barbecues this summer. Thanks for sharing!

Carla and Michael said...

Beautiful! A replacement for those long dreaded BBQ Baked Beans :D...

Rachel Cotterill said...

That looks great. I'd have to go for the veggie, no-bacon version, of course.

The Blonde Duck said...

This looks awesome. Could I use pinto beans instead? Ben had a bad expierence with black eyed peas and refuses to eat them!

The Chef In My Head said...

Mary, I always learn so many interesting things on your blog. This looks great~ LeslieMichele

frockandfork said...

That's a tasty and delicious looking dish! I like picnic food!!! I will mark your recipe for the approaching grill season :)

Pam said...

I have never had black eyed peas - this casserole looks wonderful.

We had a great time enjoying the sunshine this weekend in Pacific City - it was beautiful!

Rambling Tart said...

Absolutely SCRUMPTIOUS, Mary! :-) I have black-eyed peas at home that have been waiting patiently for a good recipe and this is PERFECT!! :-)

vegfud said...

Looks delish! Here's a vegetarian black-eyed pea dish you might like:

http://www.vegrecipes4u.com/black-eyed-peas-curry.html

Jen_from_NJ said...

I have never tried black-eyed peas. I love that your casserole is economical and tasty! I also love all of the different flavors in this - sweet, savory, salty - yummy!

Juliana said...

Mary, what a nice an comforting dish...I'll sure keep in mind for our BBQs :-) Thanks!

Cocina Savant said...

This is my perfect comfort dish. Black eyed peas are quite a simple delight that I cannot get enough of. I will try this recipe out sometime soon.

Marice said...

aww the swans err i mean that food looks really yummy ;)

u may view mine here

sweetlife said...

i always enjoy your post..great information with the added bonus of a great recipe..great pic


sweetlife

Rachelle said...

Yay! I was wondering what to do with all those black eyed peas I just bought.

Cinnamon-Girl said...

What a wonderful casserole! So rich in flavor and perfect for a barbecue or picnic. I bet it's just delicious!

Pre Nuptial and Financial Agreements Lawyers said...

Such a amazing looking dish..Those black eyed Pea color are really really yummy and beautiful.

tasteofbeirut said...

Guess what? I was staring at this bag of black-eyed peas i won in a giveaway thinking I needed to do "something" with them! Thanks!

Cucinista said...

The casserole looks delicious. I love black eyed peas. My mother is from Louisiana so we always had them, especially on New Year's Day for good luck. And you evoke barbeque season! I long for a grill...

Krista said...

Holy Cow(peas)! This recipe looks and sounds delicious. I still have not tried my hand at preparing black-eyed peas, but when I do, this recipe is at the top of my list.

You had my laughing as I read the history of black eyed peas. "Fortunately, there are no meteor showers or thunderbolts tonight, so we can talk a bit about the casserole." Loved it.

Amanda Bretthauer, RHN, RNCP said...

Hi Mary! Thank you so much for coming by my blog Nourish and leaving the lovely comment. I am thrilled to now be one of your followers.
Have been perusing your site and love what I am seeing and reading. So many healthy recipes and I love how you call it peasant fare. Absolutely wonderful.

I don't often cook with black eyed peas but I've bookmarked this recipe as it sounds deelish! Love how many recipes you have with beans....and I have already printed out your ginger ale recipe as I too make candied ginger!

All the best! Amanda aka HannahBanana

Stella said...

Hey Mary, I love this. Black-Eyed peas are one of my favorite foods, and this looks especially good. I'm making it...

ARUNA said...

Looks very rich n yummy!!!

My Little Space said...

The Chinese usually use this to wrap the glutinous rice dumpling or to make sweet soup. Casserole pot pea sounds new to me! Must be very delicious!
Best regards,
Kristy

Monica said...

I'll be trying this one for sure...it looks delicious!!!!

msmeanie said...

Love it! Sounds simple yet hearty and delicious.

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