Black-Eyed Pea Croquettes
The story in the African-American community is that black-eyed peas should be eaten on New Year’s Day for good luck. The traditional dish is called Hoppin’ John, which is a mix of black-eyed peas, rice and pork sausage. There are several theories on how this dish got its name, but here is a new twist on this old favorite. The mix may be made 1 day ahead, but add the breadcrumbs when you make the patties.
- Bring 6 cups water to a boil over high heat, and add peas and 1 tsp. salt. Cook peas for 1 hour or until tender. Remove from heat, and set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, heat oil on medium heat, and sauté onion until translucent, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and tomatoes, bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Add chili paste, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, and set aside to cool.
- Combine peas and tomato mixture. Place half of pea mixture in food processor and purée, or mash half with back of wooden spoon in bowl. Add mashed mixture to remaining beans, and add scallions, eggs and breadcrumbs. Mixture should be thick but moist. If it is too moist, add more breadcrumbs. Form mixture into 11/2-inch round patties, about 1/2-inch thick.
- Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Dust each patty with flour, and gently place in skillet. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side, and repeat process until all mixture is used, adding more oil if needed. Remove from heat, drain on paper towels and serve hot.
What better way to enjoy these tasty New Year’s treats than with Champagne? An icy flute of Korbel Brut, a Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut or a Veuve Clicquot is the perfect companion to these crispy yet hearty patties. Be festive—open the bottle while you’re preparing them.