Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Black-Eyed Peas with Ham and Pickled Onions

I'm taking a little trip down South in my kitchen tonight, for this vegan take on a classic side dish. Use your favorite brand of vegan deli ham slices; or if you prefer, you can infuse the dish with smoky flavor by using liquid smoke instead. You'll need to start the pickled onions the day before, but the rest of the dish comes together quickly.

Ingredients:
For the pickled onions:
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vegan sugar
  • Dash of ground red pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
For the peas:
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 3 cups frozen black-eyed peas
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 2 cups vegan chicken broth (such as Imagine)
  • 1 (5.5-ounce) package vegan ham slices (such as Lightlife)
1. To prepare the onions, combine the cider vinegar, sugar, and a dash of ground red pepper in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave for 25 seconds.


2. Stir to dissolve the sugar completely, then stir in 1/2 cup onions.  Cover and refrigerate overnight or up to a few days ahead.


3. To prepare the peas, heat the canola oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add 1 cup onion and the garlic; cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

4. Dice the ham slices.  Add to the saucepan, along with the black-eyed peas, salt, thyme, black pepper, 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper, and broth.  Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.


5. Partially mash the peas in the pan with a potato masher.  Cook, uncovered, for a final 5 minutes.


6. Ladle 1/2 cup pea mixture into each of 8 bowls, and top each serving with 1 tablespoon pickled onions.

Good accompaniments? Turnip greens or collard greens, vegan mac and cheese, fried green tomatoes, or for a more Cajun kick, the andouille sausage that Tofurky recently came out with.

Note: If you prefer hoppin' john to this black-eyed pea recipe, all you need to do is add cooked white rice and a little extra broth.


Nutrition Info:
8 servings (1/2 cup pea mixture, 1 tablespoon onions), Calories 141

Tasting Notes:
A warm bowl of comfort food, with rich flavors just from a few ingredients. The ham and beans pair perfectly together, and there's a nice little kick from the ground red pepper. The pickled onions on top are super fresh and not salty, compared to jarred pickled onions, and were a nice contrast to the soft peas. If you'd rather skip the onions though, the dish is just fine without them.

Rating: 
3.5

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