Last night, I felt like eating something down-home and simple. I searched through the freezer and found a couple of bags of Purple Hull Peas. These were not just any old peas from the store. They were special. These peas came from my neighbor's garden last summer. My sweet neighbor-friend, Randy, LOVED sharing his garden goodies with others. Many times, I have opened my front door to go get the mail and there on the front step lay a basket of vegetables. Below is a photo of last summer's bounty from Randy.
Randy went to be with the Lord on December 29, 2011. He passed away from a heart attack. He was only 64 years young. That sucks, plain and simple. I miss waving to him every time I go outside and talking with him over the back fence. He owned an automotive shop that was on the way to the grocery store. Every time I drove past, I would slow down, check for him, then we would wave to each other. I'm REALLY going to miss swapping jelly jars with him next season. *sigh*
Do you have a great neighbor-friend like Randy? Share what you like about them in the comments below. I would love to read about them.
Last night's dinner was a fine meal indeed. I ended up cooking those peas with onion, roasted red bell pepper and mess of collard greens in the pressure cooker. It took 15 minutes to cook everything tender. That was plenty of time for me to flip a batch of cornbread pancakes on the griddle and reheat some leftover brown rice. We ate the leftovers for lunch today and already, I wish I had more to eat again for dinner tonight. They were THAT GOOD.
HERE'S ALL IT TAKES
makes about 8 servings
- 6 cups frozen fresh purple hull peas
- 1 3/4 cup water
- 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried Thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon sweet Paprika
- 4 to 5 cups slivered collard greens (1 bundlesworth)
- 1 roasted red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 4 cups cooked brown rice
Your favorite pepper sauce for topping (Tabasco, Cholula, Louisiana Hot Sauce, etc.)
In a 6-quart pressure cooker, add the purple hull peas, water, onion, bay leaf, salt, liquid smoke, Worcestershire sauce, Thyme and paprika. Give them a good toss.
Wash the collard greens very well in a cold water bath, making sure to remove any dirt. Remove the center stems from the leaves and discard. Roll the leaves up together, cigar style, and cut into 1/2-inch slivers. Lay the slivered greens on top of the peas in the pan. Top the greens with the chopped red bell pepper.
Cover and lock the lid on the pressure cooker and heat over medium-high heat. When the pressure valve pops up and the pressure regulator begins to chatter or rock around, turn the heat down to just below medium. Start counting cooking time for 15 minutes.
When the cooking timer goes off, remove pressure cooker from heat and allow to cool on it's own. Or you can carefully transfer the pressure cooker to the kitchen sink and run cool water over the lid until the pressure lock/valve drops down.
Remove the lid and give those victuals a good toss. Serves over a bed of rice with a side of cornbread pancakes. Let everyone spice up their plate with as much hot pepper sauce as they like.
I made this again using frozen black eye peas from the grocer's freezer section. It only took 5 MINUTES in the pressure cooker to get them tender. Any longer and I would have had a pot of mushy peas. Be sure to read the cooking time on the back of the freezer bag. The bag I used called for 6-12 minutes on the stove top, so I went 5 minutes in the pressure cooker, just to be safe.
Watch the video below to see how easy it is to cook peas in the pressure cooker.
QUICK STOVE TOP INSTRUCTIONS
Using a dutch oven or large soup pot over medium heat, cook onion in a thin layer of water until soft, about 7 minutes. Add frozen black eye peas, water, bay leaf, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, salt, Thyme, Paprika. Give everyone a good toss. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Add slivered collards and bell pepper, cover and continuing cooking for 15 to 20 minutes. Stir occasionally, making sure not to over cook the peas, but long enough to get them and the collards tender.