Thursday, February 24, 2011

Soul Food

This week's cookbook is The Soul of a New Cuisine: A Discovery of the Foods and Flavors of Africa by Marcus Samuelsson; Foreward by Desmond Tutu

Black-Eyed Peas

(4 to 6 servings)

Here in the United States, black-eyed peas are best known as the basis for the Southern rice-and-beans dish Hoppin' John, which is thought to bring luck and prosperity when eaten on New Year's Day. But in fact this bean originated in West Africa, where it is a popular ingredient in any number of dishes. This version of black-eyed peas is made distinctive with coconut milk, ginger, and berbere. It's a great accompaniment to grilled meat or fish.

1 cup black-eyed peas, soaked in cold water for 8 hours and drained
1/4 cup Spiced Butter or 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 medium red onion, sliced
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 Scotch bonnet chili, seeds and ribs removed, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
One 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped
2 teaspoons Berbere or chili powder
1 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon ground turmeric.
1 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
2 cilantro sprigs, chopped
1 scallion, trimmed and sliced

1. Combine the peas with 4 cups water in a large saucepan and simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes, or until tender. Drain and set aside.

2. Melt the butter in a deep pot over medium heat. Add the onion, tomatoes, and chili and saute until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, berbere, and coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Stir in the turmeric and chicken stock and bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the sauce thickens, about 20 minutes.

3. Add the peas and salt and simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

4. Stir in the cilantro and scallion, and serve.

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