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Black-Eyed Peas and Ham

Recipe and photography by Bev Davis.


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Posted January 3, 3018

Many believe eating black-eyed peas and greens (cabbage, collards, kale, or turnips) on New Year's Day will make them prosper all year.  Peas symbolize coins and the greens symbolize paper money. Cornbread represents gold.  These delicious dishes are famously known as African-American soul food."    Great any time!


1 bag (16 oz. ) dry black-eyed peas*

5-10 ham cubes or more if desired

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

salt and ground black pepper as preferred

1-1/2 cups water

2 cups chicken stock

cooked brown or white rice (optional)

pepper sauce (optional)


Remove debris from peas.  Pour in a colander.  Rinse thoroughly under running warm water.  Drain and pour peas into a large saucepan.  Add ham cubes, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt and ground black pepper as preferred.  Pour in water and chicken stock.  Mix well.  Cook to desired tenderness.  Usually done in 45 minutes to an hour when cooked over medium-high heat.  Watch closely to prevent burning.  

Serve with brown or white rice (optional) and a dash of pepper sauce (optional).  Makes 6 to 8 servings.  Recipe easily doubled.


Soaking black-eyed peas before cooking, decreases cooking time.  Pour them in a large saucepan.  Cover with water. Place lid over saucepan.  Soak peas overnight.  Drain and rinse.

To quick-soak peas, pour them in a saucepan.  Cover with water. Place lid over saucepan.  Boil for 2 minutes over medium heat.  Remove saucepan from the heat. Cover and soak peas for

1 hour.  Drain and rinse.