As we are currently smack dab in the middle of this year’s Mardi Gras festivities, I figured some creole inspired black eyed peas would be quite appropriate. This time 2 years ago, give or take a couple weeks, I spent some time in New Orleans. While I was officially in town for a conference, the majority of my time was spent riding a very small and very uncomfortable beach cruiser around town, eating a lot of amazing food, attending yoga classes, and enjoying the “shorts and tank top weather” during February. At the time, I had recently began experimenting with a vegan, gluten-free lifestyle. I’m no longer vegan or gluten-free, but boy can I tell you, NOLA proved the short lived attempt REAL challenging. Even though I avoided the classic muffuletta sub, and the much desired seafood of the region, I suprisingly ate like a vegan queen during my visit. As you’ve probably noticed me mention it here before, I really like beans, like a lot.. or so I thought until I observed my host’s bean tendencies. Not only did this girl like beans, but I’m pretty sure I saw her eat them each and every day I was in town… Amazing really!
Whether it’s me being a culinary newbie or because I typically use them in bean-type recipes, for some reason I’ve always disregarded the “peas” part of black eyed peas and just consider them as beans. Either way, I’ve been thinking about a funky black eyed pea canned variety for quite some time. I tend to associate the smallish “pea” with southern greens, pork, and cornbread. Using liquid smoke and Cajun seasoning helped achieve the same southern vibe without the pork. These creole style black eyed peas turned out pretty satisfying and somewhat unassuming in that their flavor could perfectly pair with many different cuisines. Tonight we served them with Spanish rice and green chile tamales. Tomorrow, greens and corn bread!!
- 1 lb dried black eyed peas
- 3/4 cup diced onion
- 3/4 cup diced red pepper
- 6 tsp sea salt
- 6 tsp cajun seasoning
- 3/4 tsp liquid smoke
- 3/4 tsp hot sauce (more if you like it spicy)
- 3 bay leaves
- In a large bowl or pot, rehydrate your peas by soaking them for 12 hours in water.
- Rinse and drain then set aside.
- Assemble jars, lids, and bands. To each pint jar add: 2/3 cup of beans, 1/8 cup onion, 1/8 cup red pepper, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp cajun seasoning, 1/8 tsp liquid smoke, 1/8 tsp hot sauce.
- Top off each jar with boiling water leaving a 3/4' inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rims, apply lids and rings (finger tight).
- Following YOUR pressure canner's step-by-step instructions (this is important) process jars at 11lbs for 75 minutes.
- Turn off heat, let pressure subside, remove canner lid and remove jars from pressure-canner, let jars cool on folded towel for 8-12 hours.