Happy New Year 2015!!!

New Years Day came complete with over full bellies and mildly stressed livers. The fatigue passed quickly as the house filled with the aroma of these tasty BBQ black-eyed peas. Friends in the neighborhood hosted NYD brunch and the peas were our contribution to the pot- luck gathering. The recipe was taken from Popsugar. The original comes from talented chef Bryant Terry‘s terrific book Vegan Soul Kitchen. With the inclusion of accompaniments like Mr. Terry’s quick-pickled greens and savory corn muffins, our year is off to a delicious start!

We wish everyone a wonderful new year full of good food, good friends, and good times.

By the way, you’ll see us blogging more in 2015, hopefully once a week but don’t hold us to it.


Steve and Jason

BBQ Black-eyed Peas

1 1/2 cups dried black-eyed peas, soaked overnight
2 teaspoons plus 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 cup tamari or soy sauce
1 cup canned tomato sauce
1 large chipotles in adobo sauce
1/4 cup agave nectar or honey
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried thyme

Be sure to pick through the peas to remove any rocks or damaged bits. Rinse the dry beans in a colander to get the dust off. Add to pan and cover with about two inches of water. Bring to boil then reduce the heat to low to keep the pot at a simmer. It may take up to 50 minutes for the beans to cook, but check them periodically after 30 minutes. Drain beans, but be sure to save a cup of the cooking water.

While the beans are cooking, sauté the onion and pepper in 2 teaspoons olive oil over medium heat until softened, about 5 – 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about one minute.

Preheat oven to 350F. In a blender, combine vinegar, lime juice, tamari or soy sauce, tomato sauce, chipotles, nectar, cumin, thyme, one cup of the reserved cooking liquid, and three tablespoons olive oil. Puree until smooth, about 30 seconds.

In an oven safe pan, cast iron skillet, dutch oven or two-quart baking dish, stir cooke beans, sautéed vegetables, and sauce until mixed. Bake uncovered for two hours, stirring occasionally.

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Hoppin’ John 2011

Hoppin' New Year!

This has been an unusual New Years Day for us. We usually don’t go out and then stay out on New Years Eve, but last night we found ourselves at a kick-ass house party that kept us out until 3AM. I don’t know how much sparkling wine we drank, but let’s just say it was a lot. When we got back to the apartment, we felt a bit peckish. Our first meal of the new year consisted of a much-loved standby, soft scrambled eggs with cheese and crispy prosciutto. We ate the eggs with a day old baguette remnant that we sliced into rounds and toasted. Not a bad beginning to a new year.

Our day got off to a bit of a slow start. We figured we likely missed people’s attention for Hoppin’ John recipes by the time we got around to cooking ours, but decided in the end to get this up to get a good start on this year’s writing as well. Hoppin’ John is a perfect, classic New Years dish, loaded with rich wonderful flavors and crazy nutritious. We ended up using refrigerated, Melissa’s pre-cooked black eyed peas we picked up at Andronico’s. They were the only option as the grocery had no dried peas and we forgot to pick some up earlier in the week. It turns out the grocery peas were pretty tasty so no regrets on this year’s shortcut.

We served the Hoppin’ John over jasmine rice and sautéed chard greens that were bright with the taste of rice vinegar and red chili flakes. At the table, the plate got an extra dusting of fresh ground black pepper and a dash or three of Tabasco. The smoky kielbasa coupled with the floral scent of the rice makes for a heady, aromatherapeutic experience. While not too hot, the jalapeno adds just a touch of extra warmth. This is the kind of dish we should all be eating more often.

Sauté of Chard

1 bunch chard
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 garlic cloves, rough chop
pinch red pepper flakes
splash of rice vinegar
salt and pepper

Remove the stems from the chard leaves. Put the leaves aside. Cut the stems into a medium dice. In a sauté pan over medium heat add the olive oil and garlic cook for 30 to 1 minute. Add the chard stems, red pepper flakes and a small pinch of salt sauté for 2-3 minutes or until slightly soften. Roll the reserved leaves together in a cigar shape and cut the chard into inch wide ribbons. Add the leaves to the sauté pan and cook for 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. If the pan is starting to dry out add a tablespoon of water and cover for 2-3 minutes, or until the leaves are tender. Before serving add a splash of rice vinegar.

Hoppin’ John

2 table spoons olive oil
6 oz. kielbasa sausage, quartered lengthwise and diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
2 ribs celery, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
½ jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
1 bay leaf
pinch of dry thyme
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups precooked black eyed peas

In a heavy stock pot or dutch oven, cook kielbasa in oil over medium heat until just slightly browned. Add everything but the chicken stock and black eyed peas to the pot with the kielbasa and sautée until vegetables soften, approximately 5 – 10 minutes. Add stock and peas and bring the pot to a low simmer. Cook, covered, for approximately 10 minutes or until the peas are tender. Discard bay leaf and serve over prepared jasmine rice with sauté of chard.