When this Yankee gal married a born and raised Southern boy, our culinary norms collided. Growing up on Long Island, I was raised eating a lot of Italian food, bagels, deli sandwiches, and of course, the German food of my ancestors. When my family moved to Ohio, there were a few Cincinnati-specific foods we were introduced to, but no specific Mid-west specialties. However, when I went to school in North Carolina and met JJ, I was introduced to a world of new dishes. That's not to say people don't eat this food in the Northeast or Mid-west, but it didn't seem as prevalent growing up there.
When I started to pay more attention to the Food Network and read cooking magazines in college, I mentioned the tradition of collards and black eyed peas at New Years to JJ, and he looked at me like I was just realizing the sky is blue. So since then, I've made it a tradition to make these dishes on New Years Day. Usually I just throw the beans in a crockpot with garlic, onions and vegetable stock, but when I saw this dish on Joanne's blog, it seemed like a fun new way to enjoy the traditional food. We received kale in the CSA, so I used that instead of collard greens, and I guess it was a big mistake because on January 2, I had to drop a few hundred on car maintenance. At least it still tasted good! If you haven't had your black eye peas and collards yet in 2013, I insist you do it now, with this dish!
Black Eyed Pea Cakes with Collard Greens and Corn Waffles
Corn Waffles adapted from Food.com
1 tsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large bunch of collard greens or kale, chopped (12 oz.)
2 c. vegetable stock
1/2 orange or red bell pepper, diced
1 tbsp. cider vinegar
1 tsp. honey
Pinch of salt
Black Eye Pea Cakes:
1 tsp. olive oil
1 small yellow onion, minced
1/2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
1 garlic clove, minced
2 1/2 c. black eyed peas, drained and rinsed (I used dry, canned is fine)
1/4 c. bread crumbs
2 tsp. dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 c. cornmeal
Fresh ground black pepper and Kosher Salt
1 1/4 c. all purpose flour
3/4 c. fine corn meal
2 tbsp. light brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/4 c. canola oil
1 3/4 c. milk
1/2 c. frozen corn kernels
To prepare greens:
Heat olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat.
Add onion and garlic, saute' until tender, about 5 minutes.
Add greens, vegetable broth, bell pepper, cider vinegar, honey and salt, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes, until greens are tender. Stir occasionally.
To prepare BEP cakes:
Preheat oven to 400*
Heat olive oil in a large saute' pan over medium heat.
Add onion and garlic, saute' 5 minutes, until garlic is golden.
Add onions and garlic, thyme, HALF of the BEPs, breadcrumbs, mustard, cayenne, salt and pepper to a food processor, pulse until blended, add the egg and pulse again.
Add to a bowl with the remaining BEPs, stir well until combined.
Place cornmeal in a shallow dish.
Divide into 8 cakes, dredge in cornmeal, then place on a lined baking sheet.
Bake cakes for 20 minutes, then flip and bake for another 10, until crisp and browned.
To prepare waffles:
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, oil and milk.
Add baking powder, sugar and salt, whisk again.
Add flour, cornmeal and corn, using a spatula, fold until mixture is incorporated.
Heat a waffle iron over medium heat.
Spray with nonstick cooking spray, and ladle batter onto waffle iron.
Cook until waffles are puffed and release.