Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Purple-eyed Peas and Spinach

I don't know what to call this, so if you can think of a better name for it, go ahead and call it whatever you want. All I know is that it was really delicious.

I did something I have never done before in order to make this dish. I bought real bacon. I was at the Farmer's Market and a man talked me into buying these beautiful, fresh purple-eyed peas. But, since I am not a Southerner, I wasn't really sure what to do with them. I had never had fresh any color-eyed peas.
The man told me to cook them with a piece of fatback and I said "What?", because I don't know what fatback is and I really don't want to know. I knew that wasn't happening. Someone else mentioned a ham hock, but once again, not familiar with that.
I decided I would make my family happy and buy bacon. I know it can give great flavor to things, even though I prefer not to cook it or use it. I guess this was a special occasion.

We enjoyed this dish with Roasted Shrimp
and fresh corn on the cob.

Purple-eyed Peas and Spinach by Mary Ann
4 slices thick cut bacon
1 red onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, minced
1 green bell pepper, minced
1 6-oz bag baby spinach
1/2 cup chicken broth- give or take
4 cups purple-eyed peas (you could use 2 15-oz cans drained, rinsed black-eyed peas)
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
salt and pepper

If you have fresh purple-eyed peas, put them in a large pot with double the amount of water as peas. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for 30 minutes, mostly covered.
Drain and set aside.

In a large saute pan, cook 4 pieces of bacon over medium-high heat until nice and crispy. Remove the bacon to a plate covered with a paper towel and drain the bacon grease, but do not wipe out the pan.

Add the red onion to the pan and saute for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add the red and green peppers and cook for about 3 minutes.
Add baby spinach and cook until wilted.
Add chicken broth and season with salt and pepper.
Let cook for a few minutes.
Stir in purple-eyed peas and remove from the heat.
Stir in chopped parsley.
Crumble bacon and sprinkle on top.