New Year's Traditions: Black Eye Peas

Amanda Venegas from ABC30 called me yesterday to talk about New Year's Eve Traditions. Some countries have some pretty interesting traditions- Spaniards eat 12 grapes at each clock strike at midnight, South Americans run around banging pots & pans to scare off evil spirits, others say to wear yellow or pink undies. My favorite is tossing pomegranates from balconies- the bigger the burst the more luck heading your way.

black eye pea parfait

I was born and raised for 12 years in Asheville, North Carolina. A big tradition is the South is making Black Eye Peas and Collard Greens on New Year's Eve. The thought is it will welcome prosperity for the New Year. I don't want to argue with tradition or any wives tales and since it's nice to keep some traditions alive here is a fun take that is kid and party friendly... Black Eye Pea Parfaits. You can serve them in parfait glasses, martini glasses, plastic cups, or even layer the ingredients into a large glass bowl.

dried black eye peas

The peas themselves require a good overnight soak if you are planning to use dried beans. If you can find them canned or frozen you can use them too. If you forgot to soak overnight, do not fret, check out this tutorial from the Kitchn. Allow yourself an hour and a half to prepare this recipe because the beans simmer for an hour, or longer if you have time.

soaked black eye peas

Get out all of your ingredients. You can substitute in a can of diced tomatoes and some tomato paste rather than the chopped tomato. You can also spice it up a bit with a dash of Cayenne but I kept it kid friendly as this is a recipe we made during Camp this week at Young Chefs Academy, Fresno.

black eye pea ingredients

Ready to make this yummy dish and start your year off welcoming in prosperity and luck?

Black Eyed Pea Parfaits:

  • 2 strips of bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 cups chopped red or green bell pepper ,divided
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen black-eyed peas
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • Garnish: sour cream, cherry tomatoes

1. In a saucepan, sauté the bacon for 5 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup of the bell pepper, the onion, chopped tomato, chili powder, salt, pepper, and black-eyed peas. Pour in the broth and bring the mixture to a low boil, then simmer it uncovered for 1 hour or more, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is absorbed.

2. Layer the peas, rice, cheese, and remaining bell pepper in parfait glasses. Repeat layers as needed. Top with sour cream and a cherry tomato. Serves 6 to 8.