I had fun preparing Black Eyed Peas for the first time. I had some help from my friend and fellow Personal Chef Sandy Hall of Denton, Texas. http://www.dinnersondemand.biz/
Sandy says, "I moved to TX at the tender age of 23, so I'm not a native Southerner. But we have Black Eyed Peas to honor my husband's traditions (he's from Alabama) and also because I've finally learned a way to cook them so they taste great and aren't simply overcooked pots of mush. I keep the preparation on the "clean" side, any meat is served on the side normally, and it's a nice way to move past the excesses of the Hanukkah and Christmas holidays and start a new year on a heart healthy note."
Thanks, Sandy! I've replicated the Basic Black Eyed Peas recipe from Fine Cooking magazine. As a BEP virgin, I'm pleased the results, but see note following the recipe.
2 Bay leaves
2 cloves garlic
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 1/2 cups dried black eyed peas, sorted through and rinsed
1 tsp kosher salt
Measure the beans, sort and rinse
Wrap the bay leaves, garlic and thyme in cheesecloth and tie with twine.
Cover by 2 inches of water, about 2 quarts, add the herb bundle and bring to a boil.
Lower heat to maintain a very gentle simmer, cover and cook until the beans are tender but not splitting and falling apart, about 1- 1 1/2 hours Add more water if needed. When done, discard herb bundle and serve.
I tried to do Sandy proud but I think I may have overcooked the peas just a bit. They weren't complete mush but probably mushier than would be acceptable in Denton, Texas. I like 'em, though! There's an earthy aroma and nutty flavor that makes these peas a keeper!
Thanks, Sandy! And Uncle Arthur!