Eating black-eyed peas and greens on New Year’s Day has long been credited with ensuring good luck and prosperity in the coming year. However, this classic combination shouldn’t be relegated to that one day. Traditional throughout the South, a meal of dried peas or beans, greens and a skillet of crisp cornbread is simply hard to beat. For a variation on this theme, you might like to try Collard and Black-Eyed Pea Tamale Pie inspired by one of the South’s innovative young chefs.
In 2011, the Southern Foodways Symposium met in Oxford, MS to explore the Global South. Paying tribute to the Mississippi Delta tamale tradition, Chef Eddie Hernandez of Taqueria del Sol in Atlanta made Collard Green Tamales with Cracklins served with Refried Black-Eyed Peas. Making tamales can be challenging, unless you’re an expert, so we used the chef’s creation as inspiration for this recipe.
Collards and black-eyed peas are combined with onions, peppers and chiles in a flavorful stew. The topping is made with corn meal cooked in broth which is essentially corn meal mush or polenta topped with cracklins. The dish is a celebration of cornmeal, Southern vegetables and our love of all things pork.
I would be interested in your favorite combination of dried beans or peas and greens – black-eyed peas and turnip greens, pinto beans and collards or…?
1 tablespoon Crisco® Pure Vegetable Oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped jalepeno peppers
1 pound collard greens
3 cups chicken broth
2 (15.5 oz.) cans black-eyed peas
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
4 1/2 cups chicken broth and/or water
1 1/2 cups Martha White® Plain Enriched White Corn Meal
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
2 tablespoons butter
Salt to taste
1/2 cup cracklings or crisply cooked and crumbled bacon
Heat 3-quart saucepan or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add oil and heat. Add onion, green pepper and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent. Add jalapeno and cook 2 minutes.
Wash collards, remove stems and center ribs. Coarsely chop collards. Add collards and 3 cups broth to onion mixture. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until collards are tender, about 20 minutes.
Rinse and drain black-eyed peas. Add peas and vinegar to collard mixture and simmer 5 minutes. Spray 10-inch cast iron skillet with no-stick cooking spray. Pour collard mixture into skillet.
Combine 4 1/2 cups chicken broth and corn meal in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and cook, stirring until corn meal mixture is thick and creamy, about 5 minutes. Add red pepper, butter and salt to taste. Spread corn meal mixture over collard mixture in skillet.
Adjust oven rack to middle position and turn on broiler. Broil tamale pie until light brown, about 5 minutes. To serve, place a spoonful of corn meal mixture in shallow bowl. Top with collard mixture and sprinkle with cracklings.