Connie’s kitchen: southwest black-eyed peas

60612-img_1295By Connie Emmons  

I was asked to do a black-eyed pea recipe for Live at 5 at 4.  I was not raised with the black-eyed peas and my only experience with them was after moving to Tennessee. Needless to say I was not overjoyed with the black-eyed peas that I had consumed. A tablespoon or so each New Year lasted me until the next New Years Day.

I had always wished for something with a little more flavor or “kick”.  So with that in mind I began daydreaming of what flavor I would like to have in my bowl and could I get the flavor right to where I could eat them any time of year. Keeping flavor in mind I chose to soak the peas as directed on the package but with a few banana peppers added during this process. While they were soaking I had a few hours to ponder the what ifs. I thought about making it more of a bowl of chili than just a few peas on a plate. Green chilis were my first thought and then almost immediately the word chorizo popped into my mind. This was the beginning of a wonderful pairing that proved to be tasty and a good compliment to each other. If you want a little more kick add more chorizo or a few slices of jalapeno’s or a little less go with a little less chilis and chorizo. The customers that said they did not like black-eyed peas found this recipe tasty and refreshing. This recipe will be served periodically during the winter months for sure and occasionally year round.

1 lb black-eyed peas

2 tbsp banana peppers

1/4 lb cooked undrained chorizo crumbled

1/2 cup diced green chilis

salt

Prepare beans as directed on the package but adding the banana peppers while soaking and keeping them in the peas the entire time. During the last hour of cooking add the cooked,crumbled chorizo. Do not drain the meat add any and all drippings into the peas. Then add the chilies and salt as needed.  Simmer until peas are done.

This recipe can be frozen as well to be used at a later date. I hope you enjoy this recipe.

(Connie Emmons is the owner and chef of the popular restaurant, Connie’s Kitchen, in Seymour, Tennessee. She appears as the frequent guest chef on Knoxville’s Channel 10’s top-rated afternoon show, Alive at Five at Four. She is also known as the creator of unusual and delicious recipes.)

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