Monday, June 3, 2013

Deep Fried Black-Eyed Peas

Let me preface this posting by telling you how I came across this never-heard-of-before (by me) recipe.  Last week I was watching an episode of Destination America's "Best Food Ever."  The episode was about cheese.  I love these shows and always try to watch to see if there is ever anything interesting within a couple of driving hours from Chattanooga.  One of the foods profiled was Pimiento Cheese Fritters from a restaurant in Atlanta.  I've not had much pimiento cheese in my life, but hey, if it's featured on a program like this, I figured I'd give it a shot.

So first I tried to find the restaurant and a recipe.  Turns out the restaurant (Relish) closed, but one step turned to another and I ran across this recipe that was also on Relish's menu.  I found this youtube posting featuring Alton Brown ( which gives you an idea of what this little treat is all about.

They were everything they were hyped to be!  What a fun little treat.  This would be a great change for us Southerners who have to have their black-eyed peas on New Year's Day (what a great football-watching snack!).  They definitely need to be eaten soon after frying, certainly on the same day.  After watching the youtube video and reading several recipes, I kind of combined them to come up with what I've written below.  I did go a bit heavier with the Old Bay Seasoning....season it as you go along until you get to the right combination for you. 

You'll need to start these the day before (for the soaking) and you can even cook them several days ahead and then save them for the last step: frying.


1 pound dried black-eyed peas
1 large onion, cut into large diced
1-2 jalapeno peppers, seeded if you like for less heat, and diced large
1-2 poblano peppers, seeded and diced large
2 tsp minced garlic
canola oil for frying
2+ tsp seafood seasoning (like Old Bay)
kosher salt to taste

Place the black-eyed peas into a large container and cover with several inches of cold water; let stand 8 hours or overnight.

The next day, drain and rinse the peas.  Pour in enough water to cover the peas by 3", then stir in the onion and peppers.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until the peas are firm and tender (not mushy).  Start checking them at about 30 minutes, they could take up to 50 minutes (depending on how high your heat is).  Add more water if needed to keep the peas covered while cooking.

Drain the peas in a colander set in the sink, then spread them on a baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain.  Refrigerate until ready to fry.

Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 375F.  Carefully pour about 1 1/2 cups of peas into the hot oil per batch and fry until crisp, 4-7 minutes.  Remove the peas, drain on paper towels, and toss the hot peas in a bowl with the seasoning and salt.  Have fun and enjoy!

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