I generally don’t spend much time poking around the frozen food aisle at the grocery store but maybe I ought to start.
Last week, I discovered 16 oz packages of frozen black eyed peas. I LOVE black eyed peas, in particular, fresh black eyed peas. But, aside from a brief window of opportunity around New Year’s (when they are a traditional food that is served), I’ve never been able to find them. So I grabbed a package then went home and made a brothy greens filled Hoppin’ John that the whole family loved. Here’s the idea:
Heat a tablespoonful of olive oil in a large stockpot. Dice a small onion, chop a few garlic cloves and saute in the hot oil. Add about a half cup of smoked ham; saute together until the onion starts to brown. Stir in about 30 oz of chicken or vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add package of frozen black eyes peas; simmer until tender (about 30 minutes). In the last 5 minutes of cooking time, add a cup or so of cooked rice and a 20 oz package of fresh spinach. Heat through and add salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls , topped with chopped tomato and a spoonful of grated parmesan cheese.
Serve with extra cheese, hot sauce, lemon wedges and a sturdy everyday red wine from First Vine. These light- to medium-bodied reds retail between $10 – $15/bottle and they go with just about everything. Don’t be afraid to serve them when it’s warm, and give them a 20-minute rest in the fridge if you like.