Sunday, January 1, 2012

Black-eyed peas for good luck

My mom has subscribed to the idea that eating black-eyed peas on New Year's Day brings good luck. I am a rather superstitious person, and have always thought that if you don't have any evidence that something doesn't work, proceed.

In theory, I want to eat black-eyed peas for good luck, but have not really found a way to make black-eyed peas tasty. This means that most years, I have just left my luck to chance...until this year!

Thanks to a new app and wonderful food bloggers everywhere, we found a great recipe. The great thing is that I think this would be good all year, just substitute in black beans.

Thank you, The Recipe Girl! Bring on the luck!

Tex mex black eyed pea casserole
Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 30 min Cook Time: 1 hr

1 1/2 cups dried black eyed peas, rinsed
5 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (or more!)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion (about 1/2 medium)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups rice (your preference)
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
One 10-ounce can Ro-tel (tomatoes + green chilies)
3 cups fresh spinach, cut into strips
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided
chopped cilantro, sour cream and sliced avocado (for serving)

1. Bring a medium pot of water to boil. Add the dried peas and boil for 30 minutes, or until tender (as tender as a canned black bean would be). You don't want them to have much of a bite to them, but you don't want them mushy either. Drain the beans when you've got them where you want them.

2. In a deep medium skillet, heat the olive oil at medium heat. Add onions and cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in garlic, then rice, broth, cumin, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover and cook for about 20 minutes (just until the rice has *almost* absorbed all of the liquid). Time will vary depending on the type of rice you choose to use (20 minutes for white rice, but longer for brown, etc).

3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Scrape the rice into a large bowl. Add peas, tomatoes, spinach, 1 cup of the cheese and bacon. Stir it all together and then scoop it into a 9x12-inch (or similarly sized) casserole dish. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and bake for an additional 10 minutes, just until cheese is melted.

4. Serve in bowls topped with sour cream, fresh cilantro and sliced avocado.

*Quick and Easy tips: You can certainly try substituting canned black eyed peas for the boiled dried beans in this recipe, and you can purchase the already cooked bacon too.

Source: (adapted loosely from Tex Mex Chicken & Rice Casserole and Food Network

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