Real Cajun Cooking lets you choose from hundreds of authentic Cajun recipes. Learn to easily prepare and cook original Cajun-style family meals with help from south Louisiana's Cajun cook and connoisseur, Jacques Gaspard, who's been preparing great Cajun meals for several decades. Create the best gumbos, seafood, jambalaya, stews,, salads and deserts – the way they were originally prepared. Besides great original recipes, you will discover a hodgepodge of stories, recordings, music, videos and humorous anecdotes to entertain. So enjoy! Don't forget to tell all of your family and friends about Real Cajun Cooking. They will thank you for it.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Black-eyed Peas and Cabbage

Black-eyed Peas

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. dried black-eyed peas
  • 2 slices of hickory smoked bacon
  • 2 Tbsp onions, minced
  • 2 Tbsp bell pepper, minced
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Colgin liquid smoke
  • Water
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

As is the case with thousands of other families across America, I also take part in the annual tradition of cooking-up a mess of black-eyed peas and cabbage in an effort to increase my luck for the coming New Year. Heaven knows we are gonna need all we can muster-up. (Okay. Stop ... no politics! Moving on.)

Contrary to popular belief, black-eyed peas don't have to be soaked over night or for any significant period of time because the peas have a thin skin and are relatively easy to cook.

Over medium (or lower) heat, black-eyed peas can be done in just a few minutes. It's the pot liquor that makes all the difference in how your peas will taste, however.

Think 'minced' and not 'chopped' when it comes to your vegetables. A couple tablespoons of minced onions and bell pepper - and about 1 teaspoon of minced garlic sautéed in the fat from a couple slices of smoked bacon creates a wonderful flavor and delicious taste. And, you can salt and pepper to your own liking.

Using a 2 quart pot begin by adding just enough water to cover the peas and sautéed vegetables by about an inch,  (or by a finger and a half as we say in Cajun speak),  and begin the slow process of cooking them to perfection, while stirring occasionally (around 1 - 1 1/2 hrs.). Keep an eye on the peas because you may have to add a little more water occasionally as they absorb and cook.You will know when they become tender enough by taste-testing.

Set them aside until the boiled cabbage is done.

A pound of dried black-eyed peas, when cooked, should yield between 5 and 6 cups.


Cabbage

Ingredients


  • 1 head of cabbage, leaves separated
  • 3 or 4 pork chops
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1 Tbsp Colgin liquid smoke (hickory)
  • 1 measure DIY Cajun Seasoning
  • Additional salt and pepper (if desired) 

Cooking cabbage (boiled) is also easy to do and the way I prepare my cabbage, by popular demand I might add, is to include 3 or 4 pork chops with it. This is how I prepare my boiled cabbage.

The first thing I do is season the heck out of the pork chops with one measure of DIY Cajun Seasoning (easy to make - check it out), and fry them up in my cast-iron skillet on medium-high heat in a couple tablespoons of oil.

I fry the chops for a couple minutes on both sides until they are well browned, but I don't cook them all the way because they will finish cooking with the slow-boiling cabbage.

The next thing I do is get my kitchen shears and cut-up the chops into bite size pieces and add this to the boiling cabbage.

If you are using a heavy cast-iron skillet, chances are in your favor that a crust will form at the bottom of the skillet (it usually does when you cook meat fast on high heat).This is a good thing.

We Cajuns call this crusty material the 'gratin' - which is commonly used to compliment and enhance the flavor of various meat gravies.

Here's a little secret: keep the skillet hot but add in about 2 or 3 ice cubes and stir them around the skillet and they will magically loosen the crust (or 'gratin') and will produce a savory bouillon that you can add to the cabbage mixture to enhance the overall flavor.

Once you have liquefied the crust and added it to the stock pot along with the cabbage leaves and cut-up pork chops, you just go about your business of boiling cabbage like you always have (low and slow).  Adding a little salt and black pepper always helps.

I like to also include a tablespoon of Colgin liquid smoke (hickory flavor) and not that other brand. Keep mixing and tumbling the cabbage leaves in the pot occasionally so they don't burn. The only difference with cooking cabbage this way instead of the traditional way is that you now have a delicious pot liquor and a few bites of meat to go with your good luck food.

See there! Your lucks already changing.

I hope you like this great recipe for the coming New Year.

Catch ya later.

Bon Appetit! ... and a happy New Year! Ahheee!!
Signature Icon

8 comments:

  1. Same at our house, just would not be New Years without Blackeyes and Cabbage. I may just start a new tradition at our house. Blackeyes and Cabbage the first of each month. And I am not sure that would bring all the luck we gonna need. Bill

    ReplyDelete
  2. Do you know how black eye peas and cabbage became foods which symbolize good luck? That would be something interesting to blog about.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am sorry. I do not. But, I would like to hear from anyone who does. Thanks for the suggestion.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Jacques,

    The tradition goes back to the end of the War Between the States. In the winter of 1864, we were completely out of food, except for black eyed peas and greens (cabbage in Louisiana).
    Because we still had something to eat on New Years Day, we considered ourselves lucky.
    It was also a hopeful sign for the new year.
    Chuck Harvey

    ReplyDelete
  5. By the way, cher. The black-eyed peas and cabbage were the best I have ever prepared. Your DIY Cajun seasoning is better than Tony Chachere's.
    LOL.
    Spectacular results.
    Chuck

    ReplyDelete
  6. Were you there? (jk) :)

    That's very interesting. I am presently working on a piece about how the world's famous Cafe' du Monde used water in their recipe for beignets instead of milk. It, too, was during the raging civil war between the states when the most common food staples were scarce. Guess sometimes you gotta 'make do' with what you've got on hand, huh?

    Thanks for the historical snippet.

    ReplyDelete
  7. As Elvis would say, "thank you very much".

    ReplyDelete

There was an error in this gadget

Most Popular Posts of All Time