Jalapeño Black-Eyed Peas

What You Need

1 pound black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
2 beef bouillon cubes
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 fresh jalapeños, finely minced
1 cup onion, diced
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil, crushed
1 teaspoon tarragon, crushed
1/2 cup sweet red pepper, diced
Salt to taste

Here's How

Soak peas in cold water for 1 hour. Drain and transfer to large stockpot. Place all remaining ingredients, except red pepper and salt, in a large stockpot with about 12 cups water. Bring to a boil. Simmer slowly until peas are tender, about 90 minutes, adding water if necessary. Add sweet red peppers for the last 15 minutes of cooking. Add salt to taste. Remove bay leaves. Serves 10 to 12.

Serve with cracklin’ muffins if desired. (Recipe follows.)

Cracklin’ Cornbread Muffins

1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 cup milk
5 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled, plus additional for greasing
1/2 pounds cracklins or cooked bacon, diced

Grease 16 muffin cups very generously with butter and place the muffin tin in the oven. Turn the oven up to 400 degrees and allow the butter to melt in the cups as you prepare the batter and the oven heats.

Combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl.

Mix eggs and milk in a separate bowl.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add the milk-egg mixture and blend, using as few strokes as possible, 10 to 15 at most. Stir in melted butter and cracklins, mixing only until barely blended.

Ladle the batter into the hot muffin cups, about 2/3 full. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Turn muffins on to a rack to cool. Serve warm. Makes 12 to 15 Muffins.

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