New Years Black Eyed Peas

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a great holiday season and had fun celebrating last night. 🙂

This morning started off with the traditional cooking of the black eyed peas. For those not familiar, black eyed peas are eaten on New Years Day for good luck. The swelling of the beans represent prosperity. They are typically cooked with a pork product, such as ham hock or bacon, and eaten with greens or cabbage. The greens (or cabbage) represent money, and pork, because pigs root forward when foraging, not backwards. So, not only does this southern dish taste good, it’s full of symbolism.

I cook these every year, but I do believe I outdid myself this year. I made the best black eyed peas I’ve ever made, in the shortest amount of time!! I didn’t have to pre-soak anything, nor did I have to start the pot cooking last night. The whole thing took about 40 minutes (only because I made such a large batch). OMG, they taste like they’ve been cooking all day!! People, if you don’t have an Instant Pot, get one. It will make your lives soooo much easier!!

My recipe today:

  • 3 pounds black eyed peas (we have company coming over)
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 handful sea salt
  • 1 handful (but slightly less than the salt) black pepper
  • Tony Cachere’s Original Creole Seasoning (I just shook that until it felt right)
  • 1/2 handful Tajin seasoning
  • 2 ham hocks
  • Chicken Broth until it’s all covered

Put everything in the Instant Pot, no specific order except add the broth last. Select the Soup setting on your Instant Pot. Make sure your pressure cooking level is set to High. Adjust your timer to 40 minutes. MAKE SURE your top knob is turned to the “sealing” position, and walk away. In 40 minutes, you’ll have the best black eyed peas you’ve ever tasted.

Oh, and heavens! Don’t forget your cornbread with this dish!  It’s a must! Bon appetite! And Happy New Year!!!

Candied Bacon

I made candied bacon on New Year’s Eve and many people asked me for the recipe. It’s a variation on the Alton Brown recipe. Here it is, for anyone who wants to give it a go:

Ingredients

  • 1 pound bacon (you can use the thick sliced but you’ll get a better result with center cut or regular cut)
  • Brown Sugar
  • Cayenne Pepper

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375
  • Line a cookie sheet with foil
  • Cover cookie sheet with a layer of brown sugar
  • Add about 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper to the sugar, mix well
  • Spread the sugar/pepper mix out again on the cookie sheet
  • Lay your slices of bacon on top of the sugar
  • Add a thin coat of brown sugar on top of the bacon.
  • Bake at 375 for 10 minutes

After 10 minutes, remove cookie sheet from the oven. Use tongs to “flip” bacon. Continue baking another 10 minutes. Now take the cookie sheet out and baste the sugary syrup over the strips of bacon. Return to oven another 10 minutes and check.

For a crispy result, flip it again after this last check and let it bake yet another 10 minutes. For a gummy-bacon result, remove from oven at this time.

After removing from oven

Place strips of bacon on parchment paper or wax paper. If desired, cut into bite size pieces.

Candied Bacon
Candied Bacon