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The Black-Eyed Pea Connection

Surely by now, we don't have to remind you about the connection between black-eyed peas eaten on New Years Day and good luck for the year. Our recipe is not the traditional take on black-eyed peas in Texas. But that makes it no less ideal for New Years Day fare, especially if you're hosting a gathering of friends and family. Put this dish on the buffet, and it will be enjoyed by all but a few traditionalist holdouts. If we were Monty Python, we'd be saying "And now for something completely different ..."

Enjoy this recipe and Happy New Year!

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Black-Eyed Peas and Rice

A delicious black-eyed pea and rice casserole that's full of great flavors. You can use canned black-eyed peas with good results. Just be sure to put them in a colander and lightly rinse them, then drain well.

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 pound salt pork, rind removed, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 medium red bell peppers, seeded, cored, cut into 1-inch dice
  • 6 ripe plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced or put through a garlic press
  • 1 cup uncooked rice (not Minute Rice)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 6 cups cooked black-eyed peas
  • 1 cup pitted green olives
  • 1/4 cup capers, drained
  • 5 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
  • 1 rounded tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  1. In a large heavy dutch oven or casserole, sauté the salt pork over low heat until the fat has been rendered. Do not allow salt pork to brown.
  2. Add peppers, tomatoes, onion and garlic to salt pork and cook 5 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally. Stir in rice and remaining ingredients, except for green onions and parsley. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Most of the liquid should be absorbed.
  3. Add the green onions and parsley, gently combine, and serve.

Even if you don't like anchovies, do not be tempted to omit them. They provide complexity and depth of flavor without being identifiable in the dish.

The serving dishes in our photograph are Fiesta dinnerware.

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