After a season of feasting on rich foods and nibbling on elaborate cookies I’m ready to get back to basics. In my kitchen that often begins with the tradition of cooking black-eyed peas and greens to inspire luck in the coming year. The origins of this southern tradition are debatable but from a nutritional point of view it remains a profitable reminder to value the humble components of a healthy diet as I kick off the new year.
This year I’ve found some recipes that give a new spin to this old custom. This recipe for Black Eyed Pea Croquettes is one I may turn to again and again throughout the new year. I think most any type of bean would work as a substitute for the black-eyed peas and other types of beans might draw out different ethnic influences to complete the meal.
Here Avocado Corn Salsa adds a nice touch of color and a contrast of flavor and texture, brightening the plate and adding a bit of crunch. It is delicious with the croquettes but would also add a nice touch to a more traditional bowl of Lucky Black-Eyed Peas or simply accompanied by a bowl of tortilla chips as game-day snack.
Adapted from a recipe in Southern Living
½ cup minced red onion
3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ - ½ teaspoon cayenne red pepper
½ teaspoon salt
2 cans black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
½ cup panko bread crumbs
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 large egg, lightly beaten
more panko crumbs (for dredging), if desired
Heat 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onion and sauté until tender. Stir in the garlic. Remove from heat.
Mash two cups of the black-eyed peas with the cumin, cayenne pepper, and salt. Stir in the panko, cilantro, egg, onion mixture and remaining black-eyed peas until combined.
Form patties using 1/3 – ½ cup of the mixture for each cake. Dredge in panko crumbs, if desired.
Heat remaining oil in a large nonstick skillet. Place black-eyed pea cakes in the hot oil and cook over medium heat until golden brown, approximately 3-4 minutes per side.
Serve with collard greens, cornbread and Avocado Corn Salsa.
From Southern Living Magazine
Zest of 1 lime
¼ cup fresh lime juice
2 Tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 cups corn kernels
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 small avocado, diced
1/3 cup minced red onion
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
In a medium bowl, whisk together lime zest, lime juice, oil, mustard and red pepper until well blended.
Stir in the corn, tomatoes, avocado, onion and cilantro.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with black-eyed pea cakes or with tortilla chips.