Snow in Dallas-Fort Worth! Two days ago we basked on the balcony in 70 degree sunshine! One thing I appreciate in North Texas is the unpredictable winter weather.
Maybe the open cabinet doors in the mornings (to prevent frozen pipes), had me wanting warm, rib-sticking and nutritious food.
With a little forethought (and a pantry stocked with dry goods), this recipe is easy to throw together and rounds off nicely with warm sourdough bread, cornbread or biscuits and some steamed spinach or mixed greens on the side (yum).
Black Beans and Black Eye Peas with Smoked Turkey
Cooking time 3 – 4 hours
1 ½ cups dry, black (turtle) beans
1 ½ cups dry, black eye peas
**1 smoked turkey wing, cut into sections or a smoked turkey leg**
1 large onion, chopped
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
Place onion and turkey in stock pot (and red pepper if desired). Cover with 6 cups water. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover simmer till meat falls from bones (approximately 2 – 3 hours).
As turkey stock comes to a simmer, rinse beans well. **In separate pots, cover under water 2″, salt to taste, bring to boil and then remove from heat. Cover, allow to stand till water absorbs, about 1 – 1 ½ hours. Drain. Add black beans to stock continue to simmer 1 hour. Add black eye peas to stock and simmer till all beans are tender, about another hour.
Remove turkey from stock. Separate meat from bones, gristle, skin, etc. Return meat to pot.
(**Note: Though stock will be gray colored from the black beans (so think twice about serving to new guests ; ), this recipe is best with two wings or legs, and 12 cups water and adding washed beans to cook in the stock. Add black beans an hour before black eye peas. Again, stock will be gray colored from the black beans, but tastes great!)
For a well-balanced meal serve with steamed greens and garlic toast, corn bread or biscuits.
I like a mix of collard, mustard and turnip greens, at least one bunch of each (though some prefer one kind only – suit yourself). It’s important to wash each leaf completely (even washed and prepared bags sometimes have a little sand).
After washing well (till no grit or sand gathers in the sink after draining), cut thick stems away (I munch on them while I cook ;), and coarsely chop all leaves. Important: rinse leaves in colander and immediately put into a large, covered pot.
Add one whole jalapeno pepper if desired (we like piquant, so I sprinkle with a little pepper brine as well).
For really good, but not necessarily as healthy as plain greens, stir in some pieces of thick sliced, smoked bacon. Old school cooks used to toss in chunks of fat back, but I like the taste of smoked bacon.
Chunks of daikon radish are also wonderful.
Minimal or no salt required if adding bacon. Bring to a boil and immediately reduce heat to a slow simmer and cover till greens are entirely cooked down and tender. Stir and watch carefully to prevent scorching, if pot cooks dry, add water down the side by ¼ cups. Cook about an hour. Serve and enjoy!