For your good luck

January 17, 2012

It’s supposedly good for you to eat pork or cabbage or black-eyed peas at New Year’s, and for my last post of the year I offer you this recipe for “caviar” made with black-eyed peas. It’s a variant of a recipe for the 1970s in a Time-Life book that The Sun published in 2000. It has been quite serviceable for the holiday in our house.

Here are a couple of things to consider. Dried black-eyed peas are better than canned, because you can have more control over whether they get mushy. If someone at your house despises cilantro, substitute parsley. Apple cider vinegar is acceptable in place of red wine vinegar. If you want to use more garlic than the recipe calls for, no one can stop you. Make sure that you have an ample supply of crackers or Melba toast for dipping and spreading.

New Year’s caviar

2 quarts water

1 pound dried black-eyed peas

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons chili powder

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup red-wine vinegar

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1 cup tomatoes, chopped

Salt and finely ground black pepper, to taste

Tabasco sauce, to taste

Place water, peas, onion, garlic, chili powder, salt and cumin in large Dutch oven; bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat, simmer 40-55 minutes or until peas are tender. Drain and let cool.

Add olive oil, vinegar, cilantro, tomatoes, salt and pepper; toss well. Add Tabasco sauce.

Serve at room temperature with cut vegetables, tortilla chips or country bread.

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