Spicy Black-Eyed Peas in the Crockpot

It’s hard to believe, but 2013 is drawing to a close! This has been a year full of changes, so I’ve done a lot of reflecting lately. Overall, it has been a good year, but there have been quite a few challenges, and I’m definitely ready to welcome 2014.

One of my favorite traditions at the start of a new year is to serve black-eyed peas. Eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day is a Southern tradition, and the beans are thought to bring prosperity in the new year. Now, you’re supposed to serve the black-eyed peas with greens (to bring wealth), which I usually do, and hog jowl or fatback (to ensure health?!?), which I skip. I’m not Southern or superstitious, so I figure any substitutions I make are okay!

My favorite way to serve black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day or at any time of year is stewed in a crock pot with spicy chipotle peppers, which give the beans a rich, smoky flavor. They couldn’t be easier to make or more delicious to eat.

Spicy Chipotle Black-Eyed Peas in the Crock Pot | Hello Little HomeSpicy Chipotle Black-Eyed Peas

Serves 6 as a Main Dish

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. bag dried black-eyed peas
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 rib celery
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • salt
  • brown rice, optional
  • cilantro or parsley, optional

Pick over peas and rinse thoroughly.

Prepare vegetables: peel garlic cloves (leave whole); peel and slice carrots; slice celery; and peel and quarter onion.

Small dice the chipotle pepper.

Add black-eyed peas, vegetables, and diced chipotles (along with a few spoonfuls of adobo sauce) to a crock pot.

Add Ingredients to Crock Pot | Hello Little HomeCover with vegetable broth and stir well.

Cover Veggies and Beans with Broth | Hello Little HomePlace cover on crock pot and set to high. Cook for 1.5 – 2 hours or until beans are tender. Optional: remove whole garlic cloves and large chunks of onion.

Season beans with salt to taste. Serve over brown rice, garnished with cilantro or parsley, if you wish, or just enjoy a big bowlful!

Spicy Chipotle Black-Eyed Peas in the Crock Pot | Hello Little HomeCooked greens are a natural counterpart to the black-eyed peas. An easy way to cook greens (I like kale, collard greens, or a mix of greens) is to saute a few cloves minced garlic in olive oil, along with a pinch of salt and some red pepper flakes. When garlic is fragant add chopped greens and half a cup of broth. Cover and cook until green are tender, stirring occasionally. Yum!

Do you have any favorite New Year’s traditions?

I’m linking up with Huckleberry Love’s Much Ado About Monday, Give Me the Goods Monday, A Stroll Through Life’s Inspire Me Tuesday, Time to Sparkle, The Scoop, Coastal Charm’s Nifty Thrifty Tuesday, Cozy Little House’s Tweak It Tuesday, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia’s Tuesday’s Treasures, 52 Mantels’ Thursdays Are Your Days, Live Laugh Rowe’s Live Laugh Linky, Lamberts Lately’s Create It Thursday, No Minimalist Here’s Open House Blog Party, Sweet Bella Roos’ Pin It Thursday, Put a Bird on It’s Link’n Blogs, Embracing Change’s Creative Inspirations, Craft Frenzy Friday, Inspire Me Please, Link Party Palooza, Pinworthy Projects Party, The Shabby Nest’s Frugal Friday, The Party Bunch, Craft, Create & Inspire, Pieced Pastimes’ Saturday Sparks, Sewlicious Home Decor, Get Schooled Saturday, Your Homebased Mom’s Finding the Pretty & Delicious, Twigg Studios’ Sunday Show Off, Flamingo Toes’ Think Pink Sunday, Suburbs Mama’s Sunday Linky, Link It or Lump It, Creations by Kara, Saturday Night Fever, and Craft-O-Maniac Monday.

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Overstuffed Twice-Baked Potatoes with Broccoli and Cheddar

Now that fall is here, it’s officially comfort food season. After a chilly day, there is nothing better than curling up with some hot chocolate, macaroni and cheese, cookies … basically anything full of carbs!

One of my favorite carbohydrates is the potato. Whether it’s baked, fried, roasted, or tater totted (ha), if it’s a potato, then I’m happy. I especially love twice-baked potatoes. Here is one of my favorite recipes: twice-baked potatoes filled with broccoli and cheese. These overstuffed potatoes are easy to make and delicious, and they can be served as a main coarse (add a salad) or a side dish.

Overstuffed Twice-Baked Potatoes with Broccoli and CheddarOverstuffed Twice-Backed Potatoes with Broccoli and Cheddar

Serves 4 (main dish) to 8 (side dish) people

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium baking potatoes
  • 2 tbsp. butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tbsp. dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (or other cheese)
  • 16-oz. package frozen cut broccoli
  • salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Using a fork, pierce each potato all over. This will allow built-up steam to escape, and keep the potatoes from exploding in the oven (wouldn’t that be fun?!?). Place the pierced potatoes directly on the oven rack. Bake until tender (tested with your fork), about 45-60 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook broccoli in microwave according to package directions. Set cooked broccoli aside until it’s cool enough to handle, and then cut any large chunks of broccoli into bite-sized pieces.

Cut broccoli into bite-sized pieces.Remove cooked potatoes from oven and set aside to cool. Reduce oven heat to 375 degrees.

When potatoes have cooled, slice off the top third. Remove potato flesh from the top slice and add it to a large bowl and then discard skin. Using a small spoon, scoop flesh from potatoes and add to bowl, leaving a 1/4-inch shell. Set potato skins aside on a greased baking sheet.

Scoop out potatoes.Add butter, Dijon, garlic powder, and sour cream to the bowl. Mash potatoes until well combined. Add 1/2 cup cheddar cheese and mix well. Season to taste with salt.

Mash PotatoesAdd CheeseOops! I didn’t realize until looking at these pictures that I used a jack/cheddar mix, instead of sharp cheddar that was also in my refrigerator. Guess what? No one noticed, and they were still delicious!

Add broccoli to mashed potatoes and stir until well-mixed. Taste again and add additional salt, if necessary.

Stuff each potato skin with 1/4 of the mashed potato mixture.

Stuff potatoes with filling.After the potatoes are stuffed, carefully top with the remaining cheese.

Top Potatoes with CheesePlace baking sheet in oven and bake until cheese is melted and potatoes are heated through (about 25-30 minutes). Enjoy!

Overstuffed Twice-Baked Potatoes with Broccoli and CheddarOverstuffed Twice-Baked Potatoes with Broccoli and CheddarOther ideas for baked potatoes:

  • Top with chili and pepper jack cheese
  • Stuff with black beans, salsa, and monterey jack
  • Pile high with garlic-sauteed spinach, cherry tomatoes, and feta

What is your favorite comfort food?

I’m linking up with Creations by Kara’s Look What I Made Wednesday, Sweet Bella Roos’ Pin It Thursday, and Mommy Hates Cooking’s Make Bake Create.

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