|Lady Cream Peas with Turnips and a Butterflied Roast Chicken|
I've been cooking peas all summer and blanching a good many to freeze as well. I want to thank whoever invented the machine that shells these little gems making them so much easier to find in the farmers markets. I love any kind of fresh summer pea -crowder, blackeye, butter bean or field. They are all a variety of the larger species know as cowpeas. They are not a pea at all but really a bean that was brought to the New World from Africa in the 1600's. They grow well in the South as they are heat resistant and drought resistant. I like their simplicity and nutritional value. There aren't too many variations in preparation because you just don't want to mess them up. Cooking them with a seasoned meat like bacon is fairly traditional but I like them just as well cooked in salted water, pepper, onion, butter and an herb.
First rinse and sort 1 lb peas. Put them in enough water to cover them and bring to a boil. As a white foam rises, skim the foam and impurities off with a spoon or strainer and discard. Drain the peas and rinse with cold water. They many be frozen at this point. Return to the pot with fresh water and 1 tsp Kosher salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce and simmer for 1 hour. Add 1/2 cup chopped onion and a small turnip (optional), peeled and diced. Cover the last 15 minutes. Add a tablespoon of butter before serving hot. So fine!
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