Monday, December 30, 2013

A bean question

I am making a list of frozen assets to cook/prepare within the next month, in preparation for my upcoming surgery. Besides a last minute top of of things such as frozen OJ, I plan on having several items added to my freezer to make life go a bit smoother as I recouperate. One item on the list is baked beans, as well as tomato aka "campbell's style" baked beans. I just went though my bean supply and I unearthed some dried black eyed peas. While I know of the Southern tradition of cooking them for New Years as well as "Texas Caviar," I researched baked black eyed peas and only could come up with a BBQ, spicy version, not traditional AKA New England molasses and brown sugar style. Anyone have experience BAKING black eyed peas? can I use these as NE style baked beans or should I stick to the tomato campbell's version, which is closer to the many BBQ black eyed peas?

Ideas?  I have both salt pork as well as bacon on hand.



KittyinVa said...

True New England baked beans are made with Navy beans or Great Nothern beans. Black Eyed Peas are not used for baked beans but are usually eaten flavored with a little ham or bacon grease here in the South. Not sure if my explaination helps or not!

Kitty in Virginia, USA

Rhonda said...

BEPeas cook a lot faster that other dried beans, in fact you can ever simmer them for an hour or so without soaking and they will be just right,
I think baking them would turn them to mush.
We like them cooked with a little onion and chopped ham, then served over rice.

CTMOM said...

Kittyin VA
I tend to use pea beans or larger, navy beans for my New England style baked beans. I've had Jacob's cattle beans and kidney beans as baked beans as well. Looks like I'll have to go with one of the BBQ style beans all over the 'net. Thanks!

slugmama said...

Try making your BEPs into Hoppin' John.

alaskadreamin said...

My southern husband makes a stove top dish of blk eyed peas, rice(can be instant) and sliced smoked sausage. I love beans but think blk eyed peas have a very distinctive taste that wouldn't work well hidden under baked bean sauce. It wouldn't pair well

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tex mex black eyed pea casserole
Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 30 min Cook Time: 1 hr
May these black eyed peas bring you prosperity in the New Year!

1 1/2 cups dried black eyed peas, rinsed
5 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (or more!)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion (about 1/2 medium)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups rice (your preference)
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
One 10-ounce can Ro-tel (tomatoes + green chilies)
3 cups fresh spinach, cut into strips
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided
chopped cilantro, sour cream and sliced avocado (for serving)

1. Bring a medium pot of water to boil. Add the dried peas and boil for 30 minutes, or until tender (as tender as a canned black bean would be). You don't want them to have much of a bite to them, but you don't want them mushy either. Drain the beans when you've got them where you want them.

2. In a deep medium skillet, heat the olive oil at medium heat. Add onions and cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in garlic, then rice, broth, cumin, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover and cook for about 20 minutes (just until the rice has *almost* absorbed all of the liquid). Time will vary depending on the type of rice you choose to use (20 minutes for white rice, but longer for brown, etc).

3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Scrape the rice into a large bowl. Add peas, tomatoes, spinach, 1 cup of the cheese and bacon. Stir it all together and then scoop it into a 9x12-inch (or similarly sized) casserole dish. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and bake for an additional 10 minutes, just until cheese is melted.

4. Serve in bowls topped with sour cream, fresh cilantro and sliced avocado.

*If you are preparing this recipe as gluten free, just be sure to use brands of bacon and broth that are known to be GF.
*Quick and Easy tips: You can certainly try substituting canned black eyed peas for the boiled dried beans in this recipe, and you can purchase the already cooked bacon too.
*If you'd like to oven-fry your bacon-- it's so easy! Just set a rack in a foil-lined rimmed pan. Place your bacon strips on the rack. Place the bacon in a preheated 400 degree F. oven for 20 minutes, or until crisp (time will vary based on thickness of the bacon). Dab the bacon with paper towels to soak up any excess grease, and it's easy clean up too!

Source: (adapted loosely from Tex Mex Chicken & Rice Casserole and Food Network

A Review:
I made it today and everyone loved it! We ate it for lunch – and since we live on a farm – we had our first annual HAY DROP at 12 noon – with all the kids. (imitating the NY ball drop) SO – it made for a great celebration.
I love the way you did the bacon (from the pictures) I never thought of baking them – over frying them. SO – I copied that step as well. (that step is not in the printed directions – so glad you included it with the pics)

Nancy said...

I am not a fan of black eyed peas but middle daughter K says the Emeril Lagasse recipe for Hoppin John is the best one she's ever tried. Here's a link: She also told me to add that you can substitute salt pork for the ham hock.