Sunday, December 29, 2013

Texas Caviar

January 1st is THREE days away, and you know what that means? Time to get your black-eyed peas ready! (Note: The Kroger in my neck of the woods is already out of the "name brand" cans. We had to scour the store to find the generic. We Southerners don't mess around with our black-eyed peas -- BEPs, for short.)

When I was younger, I was not a fan of BEPs. ELC had to force-feed me one spoonful on New Year's Day to assure my "good luck" for the upcoming year. Many times, My Sweet Dad would make a big ol' pot of BEPs on the stove -- with lots o' bacon (how could I NOT love them with bacon? cRaZy.) and maybe a few jalapenos thrown in, for good measure. I don't specifically remember what year my parents decided they would shake things up a bit and make "Texas Caviar," but let me tell you something, I instantly became a lover of BEPs.

I wanted to share this family favourite recipe with Y'all and wish you the LUCKIEST 2014!

Texas Caviar
(I like to serve mine as a "dip" with Fritos but you can also just shovel 'em in -- sans chips!)

4 cans black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
1 red bell pepper, medium diced
1 green bell pepper, medium diced
1 package Italian dressing mix made to directions -- except use cider vinegar in place of the water and add 2 extra tablespoons
Pinch of garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Prepare dressing. Mix ingredients together. Best if you can let this sit overnight in the fridge. We've found that it's also a good idea to drain the liquid off of it, at some point, before serving. It can get a teensy bit too runny if you don't do this.

This year, I'm also adding a can of "fiesta corn." I like to live on the edge. Hominy is quite delish in this recipe, too. Other yummies we've included, over the years, are: black olives; green olives; black beans; Roma or cherry or grape tomatoes; and, last, but not least, those important jalapenos.

Bottom line: Don't hesitate to BE CREATIVE!

Note #2: These BEPs would also make a cute gift -- served in a mason jar wrapped with a pretty grosgrain or burlap bow...SWEET.