Friday, July 30


Eating the SFA Cookbook: Refried Black-Eyed Peas

This week, my family has been in Litchfield, SC on a beach vacation. Besides enjoying the sun and the water, we've been enjoying some great food. Having an army of mouths on hand is a perfect opportunity to try out another recipe from the SFA Community Cookbook.

In menu planning, my appetite immediately leaned toward fresh seafood when at the beach. Being land-locked most of the time, I like to take advantage of the local catch. My sister-in-law, Becca, and I were deciding between shrimp and grits or fish tacos. Eddie Hernandez's recipe for Refried Black-Eyed Peas helped tip the scales for the tacos.

True to every week on this cooking adventure so far, this recipe made me venture into the unknown. Until now, I have never cooked raw beans. It's something I've meant to do, but just never had the excuse to take the time to soak, cook, season... I am glad to have the occasion to learn a new skill! Becca and I had the first night of cooking, so early grocery shopping was in order. It also means we couldn't soak the beans overnight. We did the "quick soak" version (the word quick is a stretch, at best). In my search for fish dripping with Atlantic sea water, I found myself in the Farmers Market store in Murrells Inlet. They didn't sell fresh fish, but they did sell me a delicious link of chorizo for the beans (and could point me in the right direction to a place they bought grouper from earlier that week). Score!

After the "quick" soak and cooking the beans, they rested while we prepared the other dishes. The wonderful thing about this recipe is, the prep work is the hardest part. I did have a learning moment. When the recipe calls for 6 cups of cooked black-eyed peas, 6 cups of raw peas makes MUCH more than you'll need. Good to know.

Charring the jalapeno and tomato was a breeze; adding onion, chorizo, and garlic was a snap. And that's pretty much it. Heat through and enjoy. It was delicious! I knew it would be good (or had the potential to be) because I scraped up my portion at the dinner by Taqueria Del Sol at the SFA Field Trip this summer. And also I've never met a dish with chorizo that I didn't like.

I have a house full of people who will second that emotion. Eddie Hernandez admirers abound in Litchfield, SC!