This Black-Eyed Peas with Hot Pepper Sauce recipe is from Bryant Terry’s Vegan Soul Kitchen cookbook. It’s vegan, down-home soul food, and great comfort food. This appetizer received rave reviews from all kinds of veteran vegan cooks. The only warning was from someone who used canned black-eyed peas. The dish fell apart, but still tasted great! Hope you like them. I’ll bet you can’t eat just one.
• 1 cup dried black-eyed peas, sorted, soaked overnight, drained, and rinsed
• 1/2 medium onion, diced
• 1/2 cup raw peanuts
• 1 teaspoon minced thyme
• 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
• 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
• 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
• 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
• 1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
• 1 tablespoon cornmeal
• 5 cups coconut oil
• Remove the skins from the beans by adding them to a large bowl, filling the bowl with water, agitating the beans, and fishing out the skins that float to the top with a fine mesh strainer. Rinse beans well.
• In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine the beans, onion, peanuts, thyme, cayenne, vinegar, water, and salt and pulse until completely smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
• Preheat the oven to 200° F.
• Remove the batter from the refrigerator, add the bell pepper and cornmeal, and beat with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes.
• In a medium-size saucepan over high heat, warm the coconut oil until hot but not smoking, about 5 minutes.
• Lower the oil to medium high, and in batches of 5, spoon the batter into the oil, 1 tablespoon at a time. Fry, stirring around, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. If necessary, adjust the temperature to ensure that the fritters do not cook too quickly.
• Transfer the fritters to a paper towel–lined plate and allow them to drain. Transfer the drained fritters to a baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm.
• Serve hot with hot pepper sauce.
Bryant Terry tells us how his family enjoys this treat: African in origin, black-eyed peas are one of the most salient staples of African American cooking. They tend to cook quickly, but if they are old, it may take longer to prepare them. While canned black-eyed peas are available, I always make mine from scratch. In Southern lore black-eyed peas are thought to bring good luck when eaten in copious amounts on New Year’s Day. So my family slow-cooks them in a Crock-Pot every December 31.
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