Growing up in the Cumberland Highlands of Eastern Kentucky, the Atlantic ocean seems a million miles away.
So it’s with a certain fever that I make my way to Litchfield Beach, South Carolina (immediately procuring a mauve Panama Jack shirt and custom made French Foreign Legion hat emblazoned: “Bod Squad” ) as a 16 year old lad eager to see the world.
Over the course of a sun-burned week on the sand, frolic and hi-jinx are the order of the day but at night I’m fortunate enough to dine with some friendly locals who are serious cooks.
While blackeye peas are nothing new to me, I’ve never had them prepared with so much attention to detail. This recipe is an homage to South Carolina cooking, some of the finest in the world.
2 lbs Blackeye Peas
3 lbs Ribs, Pork, Country Style, smoked, roughly chopped
5 qts Pork Stock
1 each Garlic, bulb, minced
1 bunch Celery, minced
1 bunch Green Onions, giant, minced
6 each Peppers, Poblano, chopped
1 can Tomatoes, 12 oz, whole, peeled
2 T. Fat, bacon,clarified
Method Part 1:
* Bring pork stock to boil in large kettle, add blackeyes, cook 1.5 hours at medium heat
* Heat fat on medium high in separate vessel
* Add Peppers and Green Onions,cook 15 minutes
* Add Celery cook 15 minutes
* Add Garlic and Pork, cook 10 minutes more
* Add Tomatoes, cook 30 minutes
Method Part 2:
* Add vegetables (peppers,onions,garlic,celery,tomatoes) to kettle of blackeye peas
* Simmer for one hour
* Adjust flavors with salt and pepper
* Serve over rice-If you can find it I recommend Carolina Gold.
You’re about to enjoy one of the great dishes of southern cookery: Hoppin’ John.