are a big hit here in South Louisiana. Fresh field peas are naturally the
best but if we can't get those the dried type will do just fine. I
prefer the small peas, some folks like the larger ones, hey, to each
Purple Hull peas are great also.
If you're going to use dry peas it's a good idea
to wash them and let them soak for a few hours.
4 cups fresh field peas
1 - 2" X 2" piece of salt meat or a few ham hocks.
1 med. onion chopped
Cooking oil or bacon grease to just cover bottom of pot.
Pinch of garlic powder or one clove of fresh.
Small handful of fresh parsley
Salt (maybe) and fresh ground black or white pepper.
1/2 cup green onions.
Cube the salt meat in 1/2" X 1/2"
pieces. Boil the meat in a few cups of water to remove excess salt,
about 10 minutes. Remove and save the water.
Put oil in a pot and on a medium heat sauté
the onions and salt meat or hocks until they are evenly browned.
After onions and meat are browned add about 1/4 cup of
water and stir to deglaze the pot then add peas and pepper (no salt yet).
Add enough water to cover the peas. Lower the
fire to med-low, cover and cook until the peas are just
starting to soften a little stirring occasionally . Add the green onions, parsley and garlic, stir and continue to cook covered.
Taste and add salt as needed. Note: You may have
to add water as the cooking progresses. When the peas are done you
should have at least 1/2 the peas covered with water.
Salt meat water: You can taste the water to see if
it actually tastes good (a little meat flavor and a little salty).
If it does you can add a little of this to the beans. I've seen
where the water was actually bitter in which case you wouldn't want
to use it.
You can use the same recipe for dried peas
but they will take a little longer to cook and won't have the same
"fresh" flavor. I usually boil the peas about 15 minutes
and change the water before continuing with the recipe.
Peas are usually served as a side dish over rice with pot
roast or other main meat courses.