Coast Cooking

Coast Cooking: Black eyed peas, the easy way

The Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center in Ocean Springs has a new Lunch ’n’ Learn program, Tuesday through Friday, starting at 1130 a.m.

On Friday, I'll be making a pot of beans and Chef Cheri will be making cornbread. If you want to join us, check out the Mary C. Web page for more info. I hope you can make it.

Peas and beans are such a Southern favorite. In the old days more people had gardens and fresh peas were a blessing until they overwhelmed us by mid-summer, then they had to be dried or frozen for the winter months.

I still love them, but seldom have the time to soak and slowly simmer them until just right. So I often cheat. No there is no getting around the fact that made from scratch is best, but this recipe works for those of us with too busy lives.

QUICK BLACK EYED PEAS

2 cans black eyed peas

2 cans chicken stock

1 cup dice ham or sausage

1 chopped onion

1 chopped bell pepper

2/3 cup chopped celery

2-3 cloves chopped garlic

Red pepper flakes

Salt

Optional chopped jalapeno pepper



Open the cans, drain and rinse to remove all the goop. Sauté the pork in a little oil until well browned, then remove and set aside. Add the onions, bell pepper, and celery and cook for 10 minutes, remember to season as you go with the red pepper flakes and a pinch or two of salt, if you dare. Add the garlic and cook just a minute or two more. Add the chicken stock, 1/2 cup of peas and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the rest of the peas and simmer 10 minutes more. Serve with hot, buttered cornbread.

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