Black-eyed Pea and Bacon Hash

Black eyed peas and bacon hash

Nothing makes me more optimistic than the first page of a new journal. The world shimmers with promise and wonder as I survey the tidy lines, mustering a sentence worthy of the white space. My handwriting that first entry is notably neat, the prose aiming for profundity (though frequently missing). I’ve amassed dozens of first journal entries since I began writing them at age eight. Unfortunately my perfectionism predates my passion for writing; I saw anything but daily journaling a failure and often ripped out a month’s worth of entries because I skipped a single day.

I’ve matured a bit since my journal-purging years. I can even return to a blog after 33 post-less days and refrain from deleting the entire site. Truth be told, I barely cooked in December (unless you count the many “so…egg sandwiches?” dinners we ate in front of the TV). I even brought break-and-bake cookies to an office Christmas party. (Okay, two office Christmas parties. Bad food blogger!)

But this is a day for fresh starts, thank goodness. A crisp, unmarred page bursting with possibilities. I have a long list of goals for 2015, but my first order of business was to get back in the kitchen. I’d never had black-eyed peas before moving to the south, but last year I adopted the tradition of eating them on January 1st for good luck. The stark contrast of black and white seems a fitting symbol for this holiday, when we draw a line in the sand between our old selves and new. Who couldn’t use a little extra luck with that transformation?

Black eyed peas

Black-eyed Pea and Bacon Hash | Yields 2 1/2 cups

This is great as a light lunch or side dish. If you have a few spoonfuls left over, add a cup or two of chicken stock and enjoy a black-eyed pea and bacon soup.

  • 1 cup dried black-eyed peas
  • 4 strips of bacon, fat reserved
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup green onions, white and light green parts, sliced into thin rounds
  • 1 tablespoon green onions, dark green parts, sliced into thin rounds
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

8-10 hours before serving:

Place peas in a medium pot and cover with 4 cups water. This allows the peas to soften and reduces cooking time.

1 1/2 to 2 hours before serving:

Drain and rinse softened peas. Return peas to medium pot and cover with 3 cups of water. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until peas are tender. (For this recipe, slightly firmer is better.) Drain and set aside.

In a large frying pan, cook bacon over medium heat until crispy. Remove bacon and drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Add garlic and 1/4 cup green onions to pan and sauté until soft. Add black-eyed peas and stir until warmed through. Crumble bacon over the hash and add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with green onions and serve warm.

Black eyed peas and bacon hash

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2 thoughts on “Black-eyed Pea and Bacon Hash

  1. As an incredibly average cook, this post encourages me. (“See, even Chelsey cheats sometimes.”) I hope you have a wonderful new year. I always enjoy your blog posts.

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