Tulelake Farm Advisor
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Tulelake Farm Advisor

Posts Tagged: peas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for black-eyed peas

In some parts of the country, eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day is thought to bring prosperity in the New Year.  UC Riverside’s Reuben E. Herrington, a culinary manager/catering chef, has delicious recipes for black-eyed peas to share:

Black-eyed peas are said to bring good luck in the New Year.
Braised Black-Eyed Peas

1 lb black-eyed peas

4 qts water

1 qt veg stock

.5c diced yellow onions

.5c diced green pepper

1 tsp minced garlic

1 smoked turkey leg or thigh

1/3 tsp kosher salt

1/3 tsp cracked black pepper

  1. Soak peas overnight in cold water
  2. In a large pot sauté onions, peppers, garlic, until translucent
  3. Drain and add peas to the pot , then add the stock and water and bring to a boil
  4. Once boiling turn down to a simmer and add the smoked turkey
  5. Cover and let cook for 3 hours on a medium to low heat
  6. Once peas are soft add salt and pepper to taste
  7. Remove smoked turkey and shred the remaining meat from the turkey and add to the peas
  8. Serve hot with jasmine white rice or cornbread

Traditionally served as a side dish or on New Year’s Day for most southern families, with fried chicken catfish, or smothered pork chops.


Black Eyed-Pea Fritters  (Accara) w/ Hot pepper sweet relish

Ingredients for fritters:

1 cup black-eyed peas, soaked overnight, the rinsed and drained

1/2 medium onion, diced

1/2 cup raw peanuts

1 tsp thyme, minced

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup + 2 tbsp water

Salt to taste

1 bell pepper, finely chopped

1 tbsp cornmeal

Oil for frying

  1. In a food processor, combine the beans, onion, peanuts, thyme, cayenne, vinegar, water and salt and puree until you have a smooth mixture.
  2. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for an hour.
  3. Remove the batter and add the chopped bell pepper and cornmeal and beat with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes.
  4. In a saucepan, heat the oil to about 350 degrees. Spoon the batter into the oil, taking care not to overcrowd the pan. Fry, stirring around, until the fritters are golden-brown, about 2 minutes.
  5. Transfer the fritters to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. If you’re not eating them immediately, keep them warm in an oven warmed to 200 degrees.
  6. Canned black-eyed peas can be used to save time.

Ingredients for hot pepper sauce:

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 small red onion, diced

1/2 tsp cumin

1/8 tsp cayenne

Salt to taste

1 large clove garlic, minced

1 habanero chili, minced

1/4 cup tomato paste

1/4 cup tomato sauce

2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup water

1/4 tsp freshly ground white pepper

  1. In a saucepan, over low heat, warm the oil. Add the onion, cumin, cayenne, and 1/2 tsp salt and saute until the onions start to caramelize, about 8 minutes.
  2. Stir in the garlic and chili and saute another two minutes (Make sure you have your exhaust on because this can cause some serious coughing). Add the tomato paste, tomato sauce, vinegar and water. Mix well and simmer until it starts to thicken, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Transfer ingredients to a blender, add pepper if using, and puree to a smooth paste. Add more salt if desired.


Black Eyed-Pea Salad

1 lb black-eyed peas

4 qts water

1 c diced tomatoes

1 c diced red and green peppers

1 c diced red onions

1 c chopped parsley

.5 c white corn

.5 c champagne vinegar

.5 c olive oil

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1/8 tsp cracked black pepper

1/8 tsp crushed red pepper

1/3 tsp sugar

  1. Let peas sock in cold water over night
  2. The next day cook peas until tender about 1.5 hours
  3. Drain and let cool
  4. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients and toss well coating the peas thoroughly.
  5. Season with salt and pepper and taste to adjust if needed.
  6. Let sit in the refrigerator until service.
  7. This will go well with any type of Southern Picnic or BBQ
  8. Canned black-eyed peas can be used as well to save time.
Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 3:17 PM

Fresh picked in the Delta

Susila Prasab with a bag of beans.
Last Sunday morning, I drove about 10 minutes out of Sacramento to visit one of my favorite farms and pick some peas. (beans actually, but who cares...) R. Kelley Farm, on state Highway 160 just south of Freeport, is an international gathering-place for lovers of fresh black eye peas, crowder peas, other peas, beans and the fresh vegetables that go well with them. Picking your own gives you the best prices, but ready-picked bins of eggplant, tomatoes, melons, peppers and, of course, beans, fill the airy farm stand. When I arrived, the parking lot was full and the place was jumping.

By 11 o'clock in the morning, Susila Prasab and her family had already picked about a hundred pounds of fresh crowder peas. They climbed off the tractor-pulled wagon that brought them back from the picking field with about five big mesh bags full, ready to get them weighed and pay the Kelley Farm 78 cents a pound. The fresh beans (crowder peas, like black eye peas, are really beans) would soon be shelled, cleaned, blanched and frozen, ready to use as the main ingredient for several months' Indian curry meals. Prasab told me the quick version of her curry recipe.

Quick Indian curry: Like many recipes, it starts with onion, garlic and chili sautéed in a pan with a little oil. Add curry powder and marsala. Wash the shelled fresh beans and add them to the pot. You can add potato or eggplant or tomato or cilantro, or all of them if you want. Add a little water, cook slowly, and serve with rice.

Pickers on the wagon.
The Prasab family, like most of the others picking fresh black-eye peas, crowder peas and purple beans that  morning, were originally from Fiji. The Fijians came from homes in Sacramento, Elk Grove, and even Hayward to pick at Ron and Ella Kelley's 40-acre farm. The farm reminds many of them of Fiji, where they often had small farms or backyard plots, growing their own crowder peas and other vegetables.

Nath Sam, from Fiji by way of Elk Grove, stopped picking purple beans for a few minutes to explain the best way to keep the beans for three seasons in the freezer:

Prepping fresh beans for the freezer: Shell the beans. Boil a lot of water. Throw the beans in for just a few seconds. Take them out quickly and cool them with ice. When they are room temperature, put them in a ziploc bag and seal it tightly. Put bags in the freezer.

R. Kelley Farms is open for picking or buying ready-picked fresh vegetables Wednesday through Sunday, July through October, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. On the day I visited, Lynette Hall, the Kelleys' daughter, was at the cash register. Hall told me she was surprised, at first, to learn that so many people all over the world have recipes for black eye peas, crowder peas, okra, and other ingredients for African-American soul-food specialties. Hall was more familiar with her mother's southern-style beans and offered her own recipes for stuffed zuchini or bell peppers and for Sucatosh.

Lynette Hall.
Ella Kelley's fresh beans with turkey: Cook some smoked turkey (necks or legs or whatever you have) until the meat comes off the bone with a fork. Saute onion, garlic and bell pepper. Add the turkey and turkey juice to the mixture. Throw in any kind of fresh shelled beans, black eye, crowder or purple. Cook for about 20 minutes. Serve over rice.

Lynette Hall's stuffed zucchini: Cut a big zucchini squash in half. Scrape out the seeds. Saute onions, garlic and bell peppers with some sausage and hamburger meat. Add some uncooked saffron yellow rice and a couple of eggs to bind everything together. Fill the hollowed-out squash halves with the mixture. Top with a layer of mozzarella cheese and some bread crumbs. Bake at 375 to 400 degrees for about 45 minutes.

Lynette Hall's succotash: Start with meat in a frying pan. When the meat is tender, add the vegetables, using any combination of onions, garlic, okra, peppers, squash, eggplant, tomatoes, fresh beans and corn. Cut the corn fresh off the cob, cutting the kernels half-way through. Then scrape the corn milk off the cob to get the juice. The corn juice adds to the tomato juice to flavor this dish. Season to taste. Serve over rice.

More black eye pea information and recipes.

When I paid for my beans at R. Kelley Farm, I picked up a flier on the counter telling me about fresh pears at Maggi's Farm, just next door. So of course I had to stop by Maggi's for some pears on my way home. But that's another story.

Posted on Thursday, September 1, 2011 at 10:05 AM
Tags: beans (4), peas (1), succotash (1), U-pick (9)

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