Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Years Southern Style Black-Eyed Peas

Black eyed peas, cooked down with the Trinity, some bacon, jalapeno, a ham bone or ham hock and a few seasonings, makes for a traditional southern meal.

Southern Style Black-Eyed Peas

Unlike my red beans and rice and my butter beans, I don't find it necessary to pre-boil and soak most southern peas like black-eyed peas. They cook up good and tender without that step in my little ole opinion. Course you go right ahead and do that if ya want. Cooking to me is all about individualizing recipes to suit your fancy, not somebody else's and everybody - even here in The South - cooks things a little bit different from one another anyway.

I never understand people who get all up in arms about the way other people cook! Course, we all may secretly think our way is the perfect and only way, because that's the way we learned it, but a proper southern lady or gentleman would never be so bold about it to say so, not in public anyways {wink wink}.) Oh my goodness the things that people say on Facebook these days - yes, on little ole recipe pages like mine. You'd think they didn't have a proper raisin' y'all! So if you like to pre-soak or pre-boil your beans, then I say go for it and nevermind what anybody else has to say about it.

Simply seasoned southern black-eyed peas, made with bacon, the Trinity of vegetables, ham hocks, jalapenos, bay leaves, salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning.
It's also okay to go ahead and pre-season these beans, unlike the larger ones. These are sooooo good!  Prefer Hoppin' John? While you're here, pop on over and check out this Black-eyed Pea Jambalaya - my Deep South's take on Hoppin' John.


Recipe: New Year's Southern Style Black-Eyed Peas

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 1 hour 30 min | Yield: About 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients
  • 1/4 pound bacon, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup diced ham, optional
  • 1 pound dried black-eyed peas, rinsed and picked through
  • 2 quarts of room temperature water, chicken broth/stock or a combination
  • 2 pounds smoked ham hocks
  • 2 jalapenos, ribs and seeds removed and chopped, or to taste, optional
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste, optional
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Additional water or chicken broth or stock, as needed
Instructions

In a tall stockpot cook the bacon until done but not crisp; add the onion, bell pepper, and celery to the rendered bacon fat and cook just until tender. Add the garlic and cook another minute or so. Add ham and cook until lightly browned. Add peas, cook and stir for 2 minutes, then begin to add the water or broth slowly, stirring in a little at a time; bring to a boil. Add ham hocks, jalapenos, salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning and bay leaves.

Reduce to a medium simmer and partially cover, cooking for about 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until peas are tender and creamy. Add additional chicken stock or water only if necessary to slightly thin out. Pull any meat off the bone and return to peas; taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve over hot cooked rice. Add a side of some Southern Skillet Cornbread. If serving for New Years, don't forget to eat your cabbage or collard greens too!

Cook's Notes: If you're lucky enough to have a ham bone, add the water, but wait to add the peas. Cook over medium and cook for one hour, for the ham bone to deepen the stock. Once that cooks, add the dried peas and then the jalapeno, and seasonings, and proceed with the recipe.

This is the same basic recipe that I use for all of the southern peas I cook. Southern peas cover a wide range and are sometimes referred to as cowpeas because they were used as fodder for livestock in years past. The most popular southern peas include black-eyed peas, pink eyes, crowder peas, field peas, cream peas and purple hull peas, but just about any kind of bean can also be seasoned in this manner.

For the Slow Cooker: Prepare as above, transferring everything to slow cooker. Cover and cook for low for about 8 to 10 hours, or on high for 5 to 6. To thicken, remove a cup of the peas and mash, returning to the pot, or prepare a slurry of 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch with enough water to form a thin paste. Bring peas up to a boil, stirring in slurry and boil until thickened (this works faster on the stovetop).

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

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©Deep South Dish
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Check These Recipes Out Too Y'all!

Hoppin' John - Black-eyed Pea Jambalaya
Collard Greens with Ham Hocks and Hoecakes
Southern Skillet Cornbread
Shortcut Southern Style Corned Beef and Cabbage

Posted by on January 1, 2009

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56 comments:

  1. Hi Mary - Love your site and use your recipes ALL the time! Have recommended your blog to lots of folks . . . I'm planning to make your collards for New Years, and have gotten it into my head to just add my (frozen) blackeyed peas to them rather than cook them separately. I end up eating them all together anyway, so why not? :) In light of this, which should I start first, the peas, or the collards? I'd appreciate your input immensely!!

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  2. I've read somewhere that pre-soaking your beans allows the bad gasses to escape so they are easier to digest. I think it was so the body could absorb the nutrients in the beans - otherwise that gassy enzyme blocks it in the body.

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  3. Hi Karen! I appreciate you sharing my site with your family & friends - thank you so much!! Word of mouth is my only "advertising." You know I never use frozen black-eyed peas, but I'm sure that they are pre-cooked some. Depending on the "tooth" you want from the collards, those can take anywhere from 45 mins to more than an hour and a half, and longer if you're using a ham hock - which you'll want to cook off by itself first. I'd say start the ham hock, then the collards, check the black-eyed peas package and see how long it recommends to cook those & then add them in at the appropriate time. I hope that helps!

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  4. I absolutely do pre-soak beans, actually I do the quick boil/soak thing most often but I also change the water so the gas from them isn't an issue for us. I don't presoak these smaller southern peas however but will need to look into that nutrition issue - thanks for that tip!

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  5. Yall are gonna kill me for even bothering to type this, lol. I, having been a young mother and wife and not really attempting to cook until then, open a 2 cans of Luck's and two can of Richfood stewed tomatoes that I cut up in the can with a butter knife, add Liquid Smoke and simmer for a while. No one knows the difference. Now that I have 3 children (4 if you count Hubby) I cheat A LOT.

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  6. I hear ya too! I do the dried blackeyed peas for New Years - to be honest it's just a tradition with me, but we often have canned peas throughout the year with our everyday meals. Not a single thing wrong with it either. I like the mix of Liquid Smoke & stewed tomatoes too - will have to try that!!

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  7. Help!!! I have been cooking some fresh peas for New Years and they have been cooking for hours. I can'T SEEM TO MAKE THEM TENDER. What am I doing wrong? They have been cooking on a med high boil for at least 6 hours. Do they useally take this long to cook? Looks like we won't have luck this year.

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  8. Hi Robin! Saw your comment over on Facebook too. I don't usually cook fresh peas, but heck no they shouldn't take anywhere near that long. Did you shell these yourself? If not, then if they are very very old peas, I guess they could take a long time to get tender. I cooked some red beans like that once & they were dried, but those suckers never got tender. I ended up pitching them. That's just the oddest thing - sure wish I could help more!

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    Replies
    1. If you added your salt in the beginning, they will NEVER get soft!

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    2. Around Christmas/New Years, they sell pre soaked black eyed peas and try to pass them off as fresh. Basically all they have done is quick soak some dried beans and charge you 4 bucks a pint rather than .50 cents for a 1 lb bag. Sorry, those weren't fresh peas more than likely.

      I eat fresh black eyes (and pink eyes and lady peas ect.....) all summer long. They are ready to eat as soon as 20 minutes after they first come to a boil depending on how vigorously you let them boil and how "al dente" you like them.

      Again BEWARE THE "FRESH" BLACK EYED PEA SCAM AT GROCERY STORES.

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    3. That's just downright wrong!! The best source for fresh peas when they are in season is the farmer's markets I guess.

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  9. Thanks Mary that is what I figured too. I finally gave up and trashed them. I think I will just stay with the dried kind for now on...LOL I guess that is why they were on sale at such a great price :)

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  10. Boy I would have not been happy at all. I sure hope they weren't trying to sell off old peas or else they probably have quite a few angry customers! What a pain for such an important meal too!

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  11. Made this recipe last night and it was dee-lish-us. Several momma's almost got smacked, yeah ... it was that good. I did change just a few things - used pork jowl in place of the bacon and added andouille sausage. By the way, had never made b.e.p.'s before, but have tasted 'em plenty and this is definitely what they are supposed to taste like.

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    1. Oh LOL!! Thanks so much! I'm really glad they were a hit & that's about the best compliment a gal could hope for - thanks!!

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  12. How could I use this recipe in my crockpot?

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    1. Hey Mallory! I haven't experimented with this one in the crockpot yet, so I'm just not sure on the time, but I'd say just dump it all in there and let it go on low all day. If you pre-soak the beans you'll shorten the cooking time a bit.

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  13. Just wondering if you pre-soak the peas or do you just toss them dried after rinsing & sorting? Most other recipes I've ever seen require overnight soaking.

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    Replies
    1. I don't pre-soak personally - for these peas I really don't find it a necessary step, though it might shorten the cooking time a bit.

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  14. Hi Mary I'm a newbie to your site and I must say that I successfully made for the first time cornbread from scratch thanks to you and sadly I didn't have my cast iron skillet that I was raised on. Nonetheless it turned out supergreat! Still working on perfecting the black eyed peas since I had to modify a bit due to the fact that he really doesn't like meat in his beans. His family were born and raised in Mississippi so I'm up against a very knowledgeable and critical family of cooks! However after about 3 years om ready to showcase some culinary arts skills. My mother although not born and raised in the south wad the only sister of seven that I thought could really cook. All holiday dinners were at our house and my mom cooked a lot of soul food southern dishes. Not sure where she got it other than the fact that she had five kids of her own. I dont ever remember a time where I ate my grandmothers food. All that to say that I love the recipes that I tried so far and o look forward to beginning this journey with my secret weapon (you) at my side. Yours truly, teacher and new mom enjoying a much deserved summer vacation

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Valencia! I bet you are enjoying your break. I have always had a lot of respect for teachers but even more so today. Doesn't seem to matter the age at all anymore, it's sometimes a rough job that requires the patience of a saint!

      Don't tell anybody but I often make my cornbread without the skillet and simply in a pan! It's just easier than hauling out that heavy iron skillet!

      I'm so glad that you are enjoying the recipes & write me anytime if I can help!

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  15. This recipe was perfect! Best peas I ever made-and I didn't use any meat!!!! This recipe is a keeper! Happy new year!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Marvin & Happy New Year to you as well!

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  16. Another excellent recipe. These peas went with your collard greens and cornbread recipe...OMG the best result I have ever had for ...I can NOT think of how many years I have been making "Hoppin John"... thanks as well for your explanation on with rice, over rice, tradition, etc etc...I appreciated it...

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    1. You're welcome Elizabeth & thanks for letting me know you enjoyed them!

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  17. Hi can I use red beans instead please let me no

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  18. First time making bep's and was a total success thanks to your recipe. I followed to a T and the peas came out perfect in three hours, no pre soak, and one hour for the hambone alone. Thanks, I "look" like a great cook :)

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    1. Aw, I'm sure you're a great cook, but I'm so glad to hear that you enjoyed the recipe & thank you for letting me know!

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  19. how do you get the thick liquor in the blackeye peas?

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    1. Don't use too much water when you start, cook mostly uncovered, and slow stewing are the keys! Once you reduce to a medium simmer, you'll want to partially cover - just leave an opening by placing the pot lid partially on the top of the pot. That allows for some evaporation but not too much. Then it's just a matter of time and patience. Let them cook for at least 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until the peas are tender and creamy. At the end you can also remove about 1/3 cup of the peas (drained) and mash them, adding them back to the pot.

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  20. Thanks for the recipe! I love your writing style I can hear your southern accent through the text lol. I think it's great!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! I do write like I talk for sure. My accent isn't actually too thick (at least I don't think so :) but it's definitely there!

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  21. Mary, I’ve always been taught to soak all peas and beans prior to cooking. Your method makes perfect sense, since black-eyed peas usually take the least amount of time to soak. I’m going to try your way come New Years Day: First meal.
    Just a suggestion: Instead of using chicken stock, have you ever used vegetable stock? I usually make my own but recently I’ve found “Kitchen Basics” Vegetable Stock (found in Wally-Mart), to be very nice, not salty and reasonably priced. I especially like to use it with anything pork based. It only adds to the flavor and doesn’t detract or confuse flavors; like chicken or beef stock can.
    I totally agree with you and your comments about ‘opinions.’ There are certain kitchen basics, but everything after that can be an expression. As I call my kitchen, “A game of flames,” where anything goes, and anything can happen. As a past professional, I’m always coming under scrutiny. People try desperately to trip me up or show me up. It seems that putting on “the jacket,” is like painting a bullseye on my back. No, the chefs jacket… not the other jacket. The other white jacket says “Pilgrim State Mental Hospital.” Shhhhhh… they still don’t know I’m gone.
    I know… as my dear friend and Vicar says, “The things that’s wrong with you boy…. they ain’t small.”
    Have a blessed New Year. God bless

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    Replies
    1. I love Kitchen Basics stocks and in fact, just picked up two cartons of their unsalted chicken stock to try! Everything seems so salty anymore and I like controlling the salt myself. I don't use vegetable stock as much as I do chicken, but I keep one on hand. KB carries a lot of different stocks and they're stocks are much richer and more flavorful than the typical cartons of broths on the market.

      A game of flames - now I like that!! I am kinda glad that I can only lay claim to being a home cook with no culinary education behind me. I can only imagine what you must go through, but frankly, you seem to have a great spirit and positive attitude (and a pretty good sense of humor!) about it all.

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    2. Don’t kid yourself. Judging from what I’ve seen here, you’re an excellent cook, and an inspiration to all who visit this site; myself included. I too have no professional training. Being a professional chef is not all it’s cracked up to be. I left it to return to electronics engineering, with a side of construction, after discovering that even the finest of kitchens were rife with foul mouthed, ill tempered prima donnas like Gordon Ramsay. Although after returning to faith in 1995, I regained my passion. At St. John’s in Huntington, NY, I used to, single handedly, serve approximately 250 parishioners every Sunday between services. I’ve been cooking for every church we’ve been with ever since.
      And the sense of humor thing? I’m a firm believer that if you can’t laugh at yourself, you’ve got no business laughing at anyone else.
      God bless.

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    3. Thank you Chris and may God continue to bless you in your ministry! That's some lucky church folk!!

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  22. I'm a Sourthern transplant living in northern Utah. As such, I do my best to turn our town home into "Little Charleston", especially since a lot of Utah cuisine is really bland. In continuing those efforts, I plan on making this recipe later this afternoon once I get home from work. I do have a few questions since I'm unclear about some of the directions. At the end of step 1, you say to sort of stir fry the peas before adding the water, I'm assuming the dried peas? In step 2, you say to add a ham bone, which I got, to the water and boil about an hour before adding the peas. Am I boiling the water with bone in the veggie mixture or boiling separately? If boiling with the veggie mixture, do I just skip the part about stir frying the peas? Thanks. Am so looking forward to this.

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    1. Hi Kit! Yeah, this is one of my older, more "yakky" posts that I probably need to go back and write with a bit more clear instructions. :) If you are not using a ham bone, add the rinsed peas to the veggie mix and let them cook together just to combine the flavors, then add the water.

      If you are using a ham bone, cook the veggie mix, add the water and the ham bone & allow that to cook by itself to develop the flavor from the bone, then add the peas and proceed. You'll of course skip the step above that where you add the rinsed peas to the veggie mixture in that case.

      Hope that helps to clarify it better!

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  23. As a newbie, I picked your website for its very clear instructions and explanatory pics. We loved this Black-eyed pea recipe, which we actually made with purple hull peas, but I have a few questions. You said to cook the bacon, but not till crisp. Then cook the onions in the bacon fat. What do I do with the bacon? Leave it in the pan or take it out? Also, if I have a ham bone, do I stir fry the peas first, then remove them, then add the broth and bone...or do I stir fry peas, add broth as instructed, then remove peas so the bone can cook for its extra hour? If I leave the peas in with the bone to cook for an extra hour, they might become mushy. After the bone cooks in for an hour, and I add the peas, do I leave the bone in as the peas cook as well, or remove it? Thanks.

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    1. My apologies! This is one of my older recipes from the earlier days of my blogging and I need to rewrite my instructions but I keep forgetting!

      Cook the bacon, don't remove it - just add the veggies to the bacon and drippings and coon them until tender.

      If you are not using a ham bone, add the rinsed peas to the veggie mix and let them cook together just to combine the flavors, then add the water.

      If you are using a ham bone, cook the veggie mix, add the water and the ham bone & allow that to cook by itself to develop the flavor from the bone, then add the peas and proceed. You'll of course skip the step above that where you add the rinsed peas to the veggie mixture in that case.

      Hope that helps to clarify!

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  24. Is a pork neck bone acceptable for the ham bone? Can I use frozen peas instead of dried? Does this change the cooking time? Thank you for sharing the results of your hard work with all of us.

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    1. I don't know whether you're referring to raw or smoked neck bones, but it's a different flavor either way from a ham bone, although it's all good. It depends on the bean or pea you are using, but you may have to make some adjustment in cooking time if you use frozen peas, as they generally cook faster than dried due to being blanched before freezing, where dried beans and peas need to be rehydrated first.

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  25. Instead of using a ham bone can I use a hamhock? And If so would I use it the same as the ham bone in the recipe or is there a different method?

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    1. Yes! No changes necessary although when using ham hocks, if it's not very meaty, I do like to add some chopped, smoked ham also.

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  26. Hi Mary, I grew up with southern cooking in Michigan and Arkansas relatives always made the best food! Anyway, I'm making black eyed peas as we type and have decided to take some of my cooking to a New Year celebration tonight with cornbread! No sugar! Quick question though ... do I cut up the ham hock and include it in the peas or is that just for flavor? I've never cooked with the nor has my wife of 26 years (Indiana and Florida raised) so I guess she wouldn't be familiar haha! I've snuck a taste of your BEP recipe and LOVE it. I'm excited to share my tradition tonight with those who have never had them or southern style cornbread. Hope to see a reply about the hocks! Thanks!

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  27. Hi Mary, I grew up with southern cooking in Michigan and Arkansas relatives always made the best food! Anyway, I'm making black eyed peas as we type and have decided to take some of my cooking to a New Year celebration tonight with cornbread! No sugar! Quick question though ... do I cut up the ham hock and include it in the peas or is that just for flavor? I've never cooked with the nor has my wife of 26 years (Indiana and Florida raised) so I guess she wouldn't be familiar haha! I've snuck a taste of your BEP recipe and LOVE it. I'm excited to share my tradition tonight with those who have never had them or southern style cornbread. Hope to see a reply about the hocks! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hi Mary, I grew up with southern cooking in Michigan and Arkansas relatives always made the best food! Anyway, I'm making black eyed peas as we type and have decided to take some of my cooking to a New Year celebration tonight with cornbread! No sugar! Quick question though ... do I cut up the ham hock and include it in the peas or is that just for flavor? I've never cooked with the nor has my wife of 26 years (Indiana and Florida raised) so I guess she wouldn't be familiar haha! I've snuck a taste of your BEP recipe and LOVE it. I'm excited to share my tradition tonight with those who have never had them or southern style cornbread. Hope to see a reply about the hocks! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Mary, I'm cooking your black eyed peas recipe and am also doing cornbread (the way my family in Arkansas cooked it) - no sugar cornbread! Question about the ham jocks ... do I cut them up and include them in the dish or are they there strictly for taste? I'm taking this to a New Year eve party tonight all northerners who haven't understood what true southern style cooking is like! Hope to hear from you before we head out the door. Thanks so much!

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    1. Hi Bob! So sorry I missed your question but I was with my grandbabies until pretty late, while my son and daughter in law went out for a bit, so I have a pretty good excuse! :) While the hocks are primarily for flavoring & why I suggest adding in diced ham, if your hocks are good and meaty they will generally give off some meat as the peas cook, falling off the bone on their own. If not and there is some meat still left, absolutely pull it off and drop back into the peas. I sure hope that everybody enjoyed this & Happy New Year!!

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    2. They did! Thanks and have a wonderful 2016!

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  30. Hi Mrs. Mary, I missed my New Years Eve black eye peas deadline, but I'm cooking them tomorrow. However I have a few problems..this is my first time cooking black eye peas, I don't even have half thee ingredients you mentioned, I only have a Ham bone, an onion and some salt and pepper. Should I abort the beans and wait until I have all thee ingredients or use what I have and try my luck ? My husband is looking forward to them and I don't want to let him down. what should I do.. please help !!!

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    1. Hi Mrs. Kim! You actually have a great start there with that ham bone and that'll make a fine pot of black-eyed peas. The "trinity" (onion, bell pepper and celery) along with the garlic & other seasonings just bump up the flavor even more. Since you don't have that, just be sure to taste and adjust salt & pepper at the end! Let me know when you can try my southern peas with these other seasonings though and what you think of the differences!

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  31. got a question on the ham hocks: want to make this and I've had trouble finding good smoked ham hocks. However, country cured ham hocks are readily available, and cheap. Assuming I soak them to remove some of the salt and soften them, could I sub them here, with maybe some liquid smoke added to make up for the smoke flavor?

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    1. I'm sure country ham shanks would work, though I've not used them. You're basically just using a bone to season. As to the saltiness it might be a good idea to try to remove some of it if you can. Other than what is in the bacon, I'd leave out other sources of salt until you taste them at the end.

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