We love sausages of all kinds. Our local Sprouts Market makes their own, and they are all very tasty. When they put them on sale, I usually stock up and I buy quite a few different varieties at a time. I think we have tried them all at some point. One of the types I recently purchased was Andouille, which is a spicy Cajun style sausage. We love it and eat it quite often. I get tired of eating and cooking things the same way all the time, so I am always on the lookout for new recipes and ideas. I found a recipe that was with black-eyed peas and Andouille sausage that looked really good, and of course, I had to give it a try. It is very similar to red beans and rice. The Andouille sausage is the “A”. I covered the “B”, “E” and “P” with the black-eyed peas. I served all this with a tomato-zucchini tart, which gives me two “T’s” , one for the tomatoes and the other for the tart. I ended with a “Z” by using zucchini. In my house, you can always add a “W” to anything I cook and serve as well, since I always have wine. I did not set out to cook the alphabet, but it was a fun, tasty way to cook. It just kind of happened.
Black-eyed peas are a Southern staple. They are a member of the legume family and are rich in protein and nutrients. They are very healthy for you and are very low in calories. Eating black-eyed peas is supposed to bring good luck and prosperity to all those who eat them, especially if you eat them on New Year’s Day. It is a Southern tradition to eat black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day. My mother was from Southeast Texas, and I grew up with this tradition, and still continue it every New Year’s Day. Anyone from the South can tell you the same thing. Black-eyed peas are known by a few names all throughout the South. Some of the other names they go by are purple hull peas, the Southern pea and a cowpea. They were introduced into the Southern menu back in the days of the slave trades from Niger and the rest of Africa. At first, they were food only for the black community, but soon became very popular with everyone, and then became a regular part of the diet. They were also used to feed the livestock, and hence the name “cowpea” came about.
It only takes a few simple ingredients to make this delicious Southern recipe.
Cook the beans according to the directions on the package. I brought them to a boil and let them boil for 3 minutes, then in the same water, I turned off the heat and let them sit for about 1 1/2 hours. Then I drained and rinsed them before cooking them again with with everything else.
While the black-eyed peas are “resting”, cook the sausages and prepare all the other ingredients.
Once everything is cooked and ready from the initial cooking phase, then it is time to cook them all again together. Add 1 1/2 cups of rice and the cooked black-eyed peas to the sauteed vegetables, along with 3-4 cups of chicken stock. Carefully place the cooked sausages on top of the liquid, cover and bring to a boil. Once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and continue to cook until the liquid is all gone, or about 20-30 minutes. Stir occasionally to make sure it does not stick.
Black-Eyed Peas and Andouille Sausage
1 1-lb bag of dried black-eyed peas (you can also use frozen peas, and skip the initial cooking phase for them)
1 1/2-2 lbs Andouille sausage or any other spicy sausage
3/4 onion, chopped fine
1-2 heaping TBSP garlic
1-2 jalapeno, chopped fine
1/2 each red and green bell pepper, chopped fine
salt & pepper to taste
Tobasco or other hot sauce to taste (optional)
1 1/2 cups uncooked rice
3-4 cups chicken stock
cilantro, chopped fine
Cook the black-eyed peas according to the package directions. Cook your sausage. Saute the vegetables. Once the vegetables are cooked, add the cooked black-eyed peas the seasonings, hot sauce (if using) and the chicken stock. Carefully place the cooked sausages on top of the liquid, making sure to cover them as much as possible. Cover and bring to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 20-30 minutes or until the liquid is gone. Stir occasionally. Before serving, add the chopped cilantro. Y’all are goin’ to like it. I gare-un-tee it!