Many things may affect the cooking times of the black eyed peas. They could take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to cook to tenderness, depending on their age, where they were grown, and the water you are using.
This recipe uses 1/2 pound of dried black eyed peas (about 1 1/4 cups). You could use up to a pound of black eyed peas without changing the amounts of the other ingredients, if you do, you'll need to double the amount of water and you may need to add more salt.
- 1/3 pound bacon, or 1 ham hock plus 2 Tbsp oil
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1 small green bell pepper, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 pound dried black-eyed peas, about 1 1/4 cups
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 heaping teaspoon Cajun seasoning
- 2 cups long-grain rice
- Scallions or green onions for garnish
1 If you are using bacon, cut it into small pieces and cook it slowly in a medium pot over medium-low heat. If you are using a ham hock, heat the oil in the pot.
Once the bacon is crispy (or the oil is hot if you are using a ham hock and not bacon), increase the heat to medium-high and add the celery, onion, and green pepper and sauté until they begin to brown, about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic, stir well and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
2 Add the black-eyed peas, bay leaf, thyme and Cajun seasoning and cover with 4 cups of water. If you are using the ham hock, add it to the pot and bring to a simmer. Cook for an hour to an hour and a half, (less time or more depending on the freshness of the black-eyed peas) until the peas are tender (not mushy).
3 While the black-eyed peas are cooking, cook the rice separately according to package instructions.
4 When the peas are tender, strain out the remaining cooking water. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Taste the peas for salt and add more if needed. If using a ham hock, remove it from the pot, pull off the meat, and return the meat to the pot.
Serve the dish either by placing a ladle-full of black-eyed peas over steamed rice, or by mixing the two together in a large bowl. Garnish with chopped green onions. Serve with collard greens, kale, beet or turnip greens.