Friday, January 6, 2012

Black Eyed Peas & Texas Caviar

   In the South a tradition is to eat black eyed peas on New Year's Day for good luck.  It came about because during the Civil War as Sherman's troops came through the south they burned, ate or ruined  southern crops except for the black eyed peas which was considered a food crop for cattle.  When it was the only thing left as far as crops it became food that fed the southerners.  My favorite aunt once told me her favorite summer meal was fresh black eyed peas, cornbread and cantaloupe.  That is one of my favorite meals too.  Whenever I eat black eyed peas I think of her.  I love black eyed peas and cornbread,  or black eyed peas in a dip we here in the panhandle call Texas Caviar...
In a bowl combine:
1 (15.5 ounce) can black eyed peas, drained
1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans, drained (or just use 2 cans of black eyed peas)
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained or fresh cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed or 2 cans shoepeg corn, drained

1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped (it is pretty with red, orange, yellow, green bell peppers too)
1/2 cup chopped pickled jalapeno peppers...actually I leave this out.  You can buy canned black eyed peas with jalapeno and that is enough jalapeno for me
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 cup Italian salad dressing (Zesty Italian is really good)
3/4 cup chopped cilantro
Chill at least an hour and serve with Fritos or tortilla chips....Tostito Scoops are great for this dip.
     you can also add diced black olives, chopped green chilis, diced celery, hominy instead of corn, chopped green onions, pinto beans
   Everyone here seems to have their own version of Texas do you make it?

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