Black Eyed Peas for the New Year is a tradition I inherited upon marriage, along with all the Cajun cuisine. It is a Southern tradition to bring good luck and prosperity to the New Year. It is meant to be eaten on Jan 1.
The all-knowing Google tells me that Black Eyed Peas being “lucky” dates back to the Civil War. Black Eyed Peas were originally grown in the South to be fed to slaves and livestock; as such, during Sherman’s famous scorched-earth march to the sea, the fields of Black Eyed Peas were ignored.
I am trying a slightly altered version of Black Eyed Peas this year. I am making the beans in a crockpot with a bit of roux to give it some extra colour and add to the earthy tones of the dish. The roux gets diluted with vegetable stock and water. Add the bag of cleaned Black Eyed Peas. Add Pepper, cayenne pepper, and chopped spicy pepper (I am using jalapeno).
Like with all Cajun cooking, you add the trinity (bell pepper, celery, onion). Sautee in skillet first with garlic. Add chopped ham, rasher bacon, or thick-cut bacon (if using bacon, throw it in skillet long enough to be cooked/firm to make it easier to chop up).
Throw it all in the crockpot for the day. =)