Coast Cooking

Black-eyed peas and chow-chow make a lovely picture

Black-eyed peas and tomato chutney are among my favorite dishes to serve to friends.
Black-eyed peas and tomato chutney are among my favorite dishes to serve to friends. Special to the Sun Herald

Black eyed peas and tomato chutney are among of my favorite dishes to serve to friends.

This week I am inviting you into my kitchen. I love to cook for friends and also love to take traditional Southern foods and spruce them up a bit. I got out of the habit of cooking for a long while, but I am making amends now.

I have gone back through the archive of some of my favorite images, and I am going to share them with you this week.

I am not a chef, but think of myself as a competent home cook.

There is a huge difference.

Cooking for friends, however, can be a challenge, too. I always keep a camera in the kitchen when I am cooking, so all the images you will see this week were shot in my kitchen.

Today the image is of black-eyed peas and tomato chutney. The black-eyed peas were made extra good by taking the time to make a super-fortified stock first. Ham, onions, bell peppers, celery and jalapeño peppers form the base, along with a good pinch of red pepper flakes.

Tomato chutney, what we called chow-chow when I was growing up, is made simply with canned whole tomatoes, 1 cup sugar, 2/3 cup vinegar, 5-6 whole cloves, a chopped onion and a hot pepper. Simmer until thick.

Give it a try, OK?

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