Eating black eyed peas on New Year's Day is a tradition in my family. The peas are supposed to bring health, prosperity, and good luck in the new year. I've never actually liked black eyed peas very much, and only ate them due to superstition. For 2011 and my first time making the peas myself, I wanted to be sure that I made them as tasty as possible (though I was doubtful they could be anything but disgusting). The recipe I made is similar to "Hoppin' John," a traditional Southern dish, although my version didn't have rice in it. It turned out well enough that I ate an entire, large serving and Nigel liked it as well. Here's to a 2011 full of good luck!
Good Luck Black Eyed Peas
6 slices of prosciutto
2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
16 oz. dry black eyed peas
3 cups water
12 oz. diced tomatoes
Fresh ground salt and pepper
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
Cut the prosciutto into slices, then cook until crisp in a large sauce pan on medium-high heat in one tablespoon of olive oil. Once crisp, remove the prosciutto and place on a paper towel.
Add the second tablespoon of olive oil to the pot along with the onions. Cook the onions for a few minutes before adding the garlic. Brown the onions and garlic, scrapping the browned bits left from the prosciutto off the bottom of the pot.
Add the water, peas, tomatoes, and spices to the pot. Cook on medium heat for about an hour or until the beans are cooked, but not mushy.
To serve, top the beans with the crispy prosciutto.