Smokey, spicy and comforting, this traditional Southern dish is served on New Year’s Day to bring you good luck and fortune throughout the year.
1 pound dried black eyed peas, rinse and picked through
4-5 thick slices of bacon, chopped
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 jalapeño, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons creole seasoning
4-6 cups chicken or beef stock
2 bunches collard greens or lacinato kale, stems removed and shredded
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Cooked rice, green onion and hot sauce for serving
For Creole Seasoning: whisk together 1 tablespoon onion powder, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, 1 tablespoon dried thyme, ½ tablespoon white pepper, ½ tablespoon cayenne pepper, 3 tablespoons sweet smoked paprika and 1 ½ tablespoons fine sea salt.
Rinse dry black-eyed peas, place in a large pot and pour in enough cold water to cover peas by 2 inches. Place a lid on the stockpot and let the peas soak overnight. Alternatively, you can quick soak the peas by bringing the peas and water to a boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover the pot and soak the peas for 1 hour. Drain and rinse peas.
In a large heavy bottomed pan, cook the bacon until brown and crispy, about 4-5 minutes, then set aside on a paper towel-lined plate. To the pan of bacon grease, stir in the onions, celery and jalapeños and cook over medium heat until just beginning to soften, 5-7 minutes. Add in the garlic and bay leaf and cook until fragrant, about a minute. Stir in 2 teaspoons of the creole seasoning and then pour in 4 cups of chicken or beef stock and the drained peas. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for about 20 minutes.
Add in the chopped kale, bacon, salt and pepper and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the kale is tender and the mixture is thick. If the mixture becomes too dry, add more stock or water. Taste and adjust seasoning and remove bay leaf before serving.
Serve over cooked rice if desired and garnish with green onion and hot sauce.