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Black-Eyed Pea Cakes Make a Great Salad

February 21, 2010

For my first post on The Kitchen Trials, I think it’s fitting to share with y’all a recipe that is both a failure and a success.

From the pages of “Screen Doors and Sweet Tea,” I bring you Black-Eyed Pea Cakes. Except mine didn’t make it to the cake stage. Nope. Somewhere along the way, I messed up and the black-eyed pea mixture refused to be molded into cakes. Talk about irritating.

Black-Eyed Pea Salad

This isn’t a hugely complicated recipe. Essentially, you prepare black-eyed peas. Mash half the batch up. Mix it with the unmashed half and some other ingredients. Let it chill for a little while. Make the cakes and then fry ‘em up.

Sounds simple, right?

Yeah. Not so much.

Apparently making these little cakes requires more patience than I had. I think my big mistake was not letting the black-eyed peas cook for long enough. The second most likely mistake was not mashing them enough once I took them out of the water. I could’ve put the black-eyed peas into the food processor. That would’ve made a chunky puree that my potato masher didn’t want to make.

Regardless, my black-eyed pea mixture did not want to be made into cakes, but I couldn’t bear tossing it out and starting over. That would be intolerable food abuse.

As it turns out though, the failed cake mixture makes an excellent salad, especially when mixed with a bit of the Comeback Sauce that’s also featured in “Screen Doors and Sweet Tea.” You could eat the black-eyed pea mixture without the Comeback Sauce, but the sauce gives it an extra bit of kick that’s quite delicious.

And so, from my cooking failure, I give you Black-Eyed Pea Salad.

Black-Eyed Pea Salad
(adapted from the “Screen Doors and Sweet Tea” recipe for Black-Eyed Pea Cakes)

1 slice bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 whole garlic cloves
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound fresh black-eyed peas
½ cup minced white onion
½ cup finely chopped green bell pepper
½ cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped basil
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ cup heavy cream

In a large pot, fry the bacon pieces until they’re crisp. Toss in the whole garlic cloves and cook for another minute. Add the peas and enough water to cover the peas by 2 inches. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the peas are tender. I cooked mine until they were al dente-ish. (which may have been the problem with the cakes…)

Drain the peas. Toss the garlic cloves. Eat the bacon bits (or not, but I couldn’t resist).

At this point, you can mash up some of the peas or not. For the salad, you can probably skip this step.

Mix the peas with the remaining the ingredients. Refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.

For the extra kick, stir in some Comeback Sauce when you’re ready to serve the salad.

Comeback Sauce
(from “Screen Doors and Sweet Tea”)

1 cup mayonnaise
¼ cup salad oil
¼ cup chili sauce
¼ cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1 teaspoon fresh-ground pepper
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
¼ teaspoon hot paprika
1 small white onion, grated
2 cloves minced garlic

Mix all ingredient together in a food processor or blender until smooth. Store in the refrigerator.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. February 24, 2010 7:16 pm

    Welcome to your shiny new home! And nothing beats a black-eyed-pea salad!

    • February 24, 2010 9:51 pm

      Thanks Lisa! And you’re right, the salad was so good. I wish I hadn’t eaten the leftovers so quickly.

  2. Monica permalink
    February 24, 2010 9:45 pm

    I’m sure it tasted quite good but I don’t think it was your fault that they didn’t turn out cakes. I read the ingredient list and didn’t see anything that would hold and help form your cakes!! I think the recipe had a mistake.

    • February 24, 2010 9:50 pm

      I modified the recipe so that it’s salad. For the cakes, there were breading ingredients. Plus, I’m wondering if it would’ve turned out any better if I’d done a better job pulverizing the half batch of peas so that they would act like a glue… Maybe I’ll try again. Maybe. =)

  3. February 25, 2010 2:57 am

    LOVE your new blog! Congrats!!

    • February 25, 2010 6:35 am

      Oh… Thank you!

      • jenny noller permalink
        February 26, 2010 7:11 pm

        Hey Girl

        Beans, salad and easy prep. I’m sooooo into this recipe. Does it go well with wine.
        Or do you need me to officiate?

      • February 26, 2010 8:23 pm

        I know it goes well with beer & vodka drinks. If you’d get back to me on the wine options, I think that would round out the offerings.

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