If cooked black-eyed peas are called the "Cajun Caviar" of South Louisiana, then garden-fresh slow-cooked purple hull peas with smoked ham hocks should be designated as the premium brand. Here is a simple way to make them taste soooo good.
- 2-3 smoked ham hocks
- 4 cups purple hull peas
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp. Colgin liquid smoke
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1/2 tsp. dill weed
- salt and pepper to taste
In a 2 quart pot place the hocks and onion powder and enough water to cover them by about two fingers. Do not cover the hocks while they are cooking. Bring to a boil and continue boiling on medium heat for 1 hour.
The secret to this recipe is to parboil the hocks, not only to create a savory broth in which to cook the purple hulls, but to begin the process of tenderizing the ham hocks so they may finish cooking with the peas.
During boiling there will naturally be some evaporation which takes place. When adding more water do not cover the hocks this time. Keep the water level even with the tops of the hocks. Adding too much water will dilute the broth you are trying to create and will diminish the flavor of your peas.
While your hocks are boiling clean and rinse the fresh purple hull peas and place them in a 5 quart pot along with the Colgin liquid smoke and dill weed. After 1 hour of boiling the hocks add them and the broth to the peas in the larger pot.
Again, you will want to bring the liquid up to the level of the ham hocks by adding just enough water. Boil for another hour on medium heat until the peas are cooked or until the hocks begin to fall apart. Maintain a rolling boil so you won't have to stir as frequently.
Note: If you must add water to the larger pot because of evaporation, do so by adding a small amount at the time. As in Part I of these instructions, add just enough to maintain a level which is even with the tops of the ham hocks.
So, the next time you would like to eat some "Premium Label Cajun Caviar" try this recipe out for size. I guarantee you will love the flavor. Bon Appetite!