Tuesday, January 11, 2011

a little luck

The start of this New Year is FIERCE as we in New York contend with cold cold temeratures and plenty of snow.

Black-eyed peas are a traditional New Year's day dish in some cultures. They are meant to bring good luck. So, why not start the new year on the right foot? I will use any help available, even from a pea!
Dried Black-Eye Peas will cook in about an hour in a covered pot of water simmered on the lowest heat.

Black-eyed peas have a warm, earthy and slightly metalic taste and they can hold their own with agressive seasoning. I decided to pair them with a bunch of kale to round out the flavors. These two ingredients can serve any number of cooking techniques.
 This purple kale that I picked up at Integral Yoga Natural Foods looked fresh and bouncy. A happy sight in winter.

My first desire was to make this hearty pasta dish. I could happily eat pasta and vegetables every day of the week if left to my own preferences so this preparation was one from the heart.

Black-Eyed Peas and Kale over Capellini
•Saute one bunch of chopped kale with lots of garlic and chili peppers in oilve oil.
•When the kale is tender add one and a half cups of cooked black-eyed peas.
•Add about 3/4 cup of stock or white wine and let it all simmer together for a few minutes crushing some of the B-E peas with the back of a spoon to thicken the sauce.
• Cook half a pound of pasta and drain, toss it with the vegetables in the hot pan and serve with a sprinkle of grated cheese and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Wanting to make another recipe with these ingredients I decided to make a bean patty.  Crispy on the outside and creamy in the middle this patty rivaled the pasta dish as my favorite of the year.

 Black-Eyed Pea and Kale Patties
•Blanch one bunch of chopped kale in salted boiling water till tender, then drain.
• Saute a chopped onion in olive oil till golden.
• Mash 1 1/2 cups cooked B-E peas roughly in a bowl with a potato masher or a large wooden spoon
• Add a beaten egg and 1/2 cup of  bread crumbs, the cooked drained kale and the onion, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, and salt and pepper to taste, and mix well.
• Form the mixture into patties and dredge in about 1/2 cup of bread crumbs spread out on a plate.
• fry the patties in hot oil till golden brown.
The patties- uncooked and cooked

My purchases of the dried B-E peas and two bunches of kale really served me well. The flavors were deep and satisfying and the recipes were filling enough to warm an empty belly on a cold day.

the wine pairing:
Here's to good luck in 2011! Thanks, Deb, for these great recipes. I am particularly excited to try the patties! Nice and healthy. For both of these recipes, I'm thinking of a nice, cooler-climate, earthy Pinot Noir. Something from Oregon, a little Burgundian in style perhaps. Something soft and elegant, with ripe cherry fruit and a touch of earthiness. These characteristics are the perfect complement to the flavors Deb describes in her recipes.

The Willamette Valley in Oregon is a great place to start when experimenting with Oregon Pinot. Sipino produces a reliable, everyday food-friendly wine that has all the qualities of the "typical" Willamette style - bright red fruit, spice and earth. It retails for around $15. Argyle Winery is also located in the Willamette region and is one of my all-time favorites! A bit more expensive, their wines are definitely worth seeking out. The Pinots are more rich and robust, with a wonderful forest floor quality - perfect for Deb's Black-Eye Pea and Kale dishes!


  1. LOVE the patty idea. While I read it, I just about drooled.

  2. The Black-Eyed Peas and Kale over Capellini sounds especially delicious to me. I love purple kale- it tastes really different from regular green kale. I get my purple kale at Whole Foods.

  3. "thanks for the great recipies"

  4. Hi, Debbie:
    I have a question about garlic: does it get stronger or weaker as it ages? Or is it just the quality of the garlic to begin with?

  5. Pat, garlic usually gets more bitter as it ages so I guess you could say it gets stronger? Fresh is always best!

  6. Makes sense.I guess we buy too much garlic (we ARE Italian, after all) so some of gets rather elderly.


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