In the South, blackeyed peas are thought to bring luck and prosperity to the new year if eaten on New Year’s Day. Who are we to tangle with tradition? Lucky for us, blackeyed peas are simple to prepare and delicious! Though blackeyed peas are usually served in a dish called Hoppin’ John, we like to make a delicious and (moderately) nutritious dip with the peas. It’s the perfect addition to a New Year’s Day menu!
Start by soaking about 4 cups of blackeyed peas in water overnight (or for at least eight hours). Drain and rinse the blackeyed peas, pour them in a saucepan and add just enough water to cover them, along with a pinch of salt. Simmer the peas over medium heat for 45 to 60 minutes, or until they’re soft and tender. Drain the blackeyed peas and set them aside until they’re cool.
Saute one finely chopped white onion and three to four cloves of minced garlic in a skillet over medium heat. When the onion is soft, add about 1/4 cup of chopped jarred jalapenos, 1/4 cup of salsa, 1/2 tsp. of cumin, 1/8 tsp. of cayenne pepper and a 4 oz. can of chopped green chilies (drained). Simmer the mixture for about five minutes to allow the flavors to marry, then remove the skillet from the heat.
Mash the cooled blackeyed peas with a fork or potato masher so that the texture is a bit chunky, but creamy. Stir in the onion mixture, along with 2 oz. of cream cheese. Pour the dip into a baking dish and top it with about 1/2 cup of grated cheddar cheese. Bake the dip, uncovered, at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes, or until it’s heated through and a bit bubbly. Serve the blackeyed pea dip with pita wedges, tortilla chips and raw veggies for dipping. Yummy!