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Black Eye Pea Cakes, Corn Waffles and Greens

Posted Jan 15 2013 8:00am

When this Yankee gal married a born and raised Southern boy, our culinary norms collided. Growing up on Long Island, I was raised eating a lot of Italian food, bagels, deli sandwiches, and of course, the German food of my ancestors. When my family moved to Ohio, there were a few Cincinnati-specific foods we were introduced to, but no specific Mid-west specialties. However, when I went to school in North Carolina and met JJ, I was introduced to a world of new dishes. That's not to say people don't eat this food in the Northeast or Mid-west, but it didn't seem as prevalent growing up there.

When I started to pay more attention to the Food Network and read cooking magazines in college, I mentioned the tradition of collards and black eyed peas at New Years to JJ, and he looked at me like I was just realizing the sky is blue. So since then, I've made it a tradition to make these dishes on New Years Day. Usually I just throw the beans in a crockpot with garlic, onions and vegetable stock, but when I saw this dish on Joanne's blog, it seemed like a fun new way to enjoy the traditional food. We received kale in the CSA, so I used that instead of collard greens, and I guess it was a big mistake because on January 2, I had to drop a few hundred on car maintenance. At least it still tasted good! If you haven't had your black eye peas and collards yet in 2013, I insist you do it now, with this dish!

Black Eyed Pea Cakes with Collard Greens and Corn Waffles
BEPs and Greens adapted from Eats Well With Others and Cooking Light
Corn Waffles adapted from Food.com

Greens:1 tsp. olive oil2 garlic cloves, minced1 large bunch of collard greens or kale, chopped (12 oz.)2 c. vegetable stock1/2 orange or red bell pepper, diced1 tbsp. cider vinegar1 tsp. honeyPinch of salt
Black Eye Pea Cakes:1 tsp. olive oil1 small yellow onion, minced1/2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves1 garlic clove, minced2 1/2 c. black eyed peas, drained and rinsed (I used dry, canned is fine)1/4 c. bread crumbs2 tsp. dijon mustard1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper1 egg1/4 c. cornmealFresh ground black pepper and Kosher Salt
Corn Waffles:1 1/4 c. all purpose flour3/4 c. fine corn meal2 tbsp. light brown sugar1 tsp. baking powderPinch of salt2 eggs1/4 c. canola oil1 3/4 c. milk1/2 c. frozen corn kernels
To prepare greens:Heat olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat.Add onion and garlic, saute' until tender, about 5 minutes.Add greens, vegetable broth, bell pepper, cider vinegar, honey and salt, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes, until greens are tender. Stir occasionally. 
To prepare BEP cakes:Preheat oven to 400*Heat olive oil in a large saute' pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, saute' 5 minutes, until garlic is golden.Add onions and garlic, thyme, HALF of the BEPs, breadcrumbs, mustard, cayenne, salt and pepper to a food processor, pulse until blended, add the egg and pulse again.Add to a bowl with the remaining BEPs, stir well until combined. Place cornmeal in a shallow dish.Divide into 8 cakes, dredge in cornmeal, then place on a lined baking sheet.Bake cakes for 20 minutes, then flip and bake for another 10, until crisp and browned.
To prepare waffles:In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, oil and milk.Add baking powder, sugar and salt, whisk again.Add flour, cornmeal and corn, using a spatula, fold until mixture is incorporated.Heat a waffle iron over medium heat.Spray with nonstick cooking spray, and ladle batter onto waffle iron.Cook until waffles are puffed and release.
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