Friday, January 24, 2014

On Such a Winter's Day

We have a staff cafeteria where I work and there are a couple of Southern cooks that make full fat sides that I study and then try to come home and lighten them up a bit.  I'd never think to make black-eyed peas myself but seeing that vat of bacon-laden legumes with greens strewn in, it just made sense for a cold winter day.   The cooks serve it as a side with BBQ ribs and mac and cheese.  I wanted to isolate it and make it the main event.
I used the quick soak method but let the beans cook a good long time to get nice and creamy with a couple of smoked turkey wings.  After they were nice and tender, I added diced up carrots, celery, onions and garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, and spices.  Usually you put those in beforehand but I noticed this year that if you do it afterwards, those vegetables stay composed and offer more full flavor and texture to the end product.

To serve I imitated the rice with a nice scoop of millet and a huge handful of pre-cut various raw greens that would hit the soup and wilt but still have lots of vibrancy. They don't have to cook for hours in the beans to be great.

Super tasty, super filling.  This was so satisfying without being heavy.  A taste of the South from a Midwesterner living in the North.



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