Tag Archives: peas

Arugula, Fresh Peas and Orange Salad

A simple salad with arugula, fresh peas, and orange #salad #arugula #sweetpea @mjskitchen.com

This simple spring salad with arugula, fresh peas and orange was inspired by Anne’s Lemon Tarragon Vinaigrette over at A Salad for All Season.  Anne recommended using the vinaigrette over a plate of greens or a side vegetable, so why not both in a salad.  The flavors in the vinaigrette are a nice complement to this light salad with arugula, fresh peas, and orange topped with toasted sunflower seeds.  (Yes, I forgot the sunflower seeds for the photos. Whoops!)

Its flavors and textures make this salad a nice side for just about any meal.  We’ve had it with lamb chops, spicy smoked short ribs, and a Fennel-spiced Ham and Mushroom Pasta. It was a great complement for each of these entrees.

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Black-eyed Pea Chipotle Dip

Black-eyed Pea Chipotle Dip with chips

 

Whenever I make this Black-eyed pea Chipotle Dip I remember the time (way back when), when me and my three older siblings had to shell 5 bushels of black-eyed peas that we had picked at my granddaddy’s farm. Do you know how many peas are in 5 bushels? A lot! By the time we got to the last bushel we were so giddy that we started shooting peas at each other and having contests to see who could shoot a pea from its pod the farthest. Needless to say, the kitchen floor soon became covered with peas.  When our mother came into the kitchen, let’s just say she wasn’t too happy, but we sure were having fun! 🙂

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Skippin’ Jenny (aka Hoppin’ John, Black-eyed peas)

Hoppin John

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My favorite way to serve black-eyed peas is as a Hoppin’ John which is a pot of black-eyed peas cooked with a ham hock, a few vegetables, and a touch of something spicy.  As with most traditional dishes, there are several variations of Hoppin’ John.  My version uses ham hock and smoked ham or andouille sausage. The spice comes from Tabasco and homemade pepper sauce which is basically a chile pepper infused vinegar.  The peas are served over rice and with my favorite side for anything served in a bowl – buttermilk cornbread.

Eating black-eyed peas and cornbread on New Year’s Day has been a tradition in this household for a very long time. Of course this comes as no surprise having been raised in the south.  In case you didn’t know this already, eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day is intended to provide good luck and prosperity throughout the year.  According to Wikipedia, the tradition of eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day goes back to the middle ages which I found very interesting. Serving the peas with greens such as collard greens, turnip greens or kale, increases one’s potential prosperity because greens are “green” representing money.  However, I like to go for the “gold” and serve my peas with cornbread.

When Hoppin’ John is served the day after New Year’s, it’s called Skippin’ Jenny, and provides even more luck for a prosperous year.  If you are like us, you’ll have this dish on January 1 and 2 and a couple more times in winter, racking up as much luck as possible. Does it work? Who knows.  We’re obviously not going hungry, so something’s going our way.

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