Best of the West: Texas Caviar

How to get your black eyed peas on!  Lets get this started in here!

We got 9 different kinds of peppers goin on.  (and it aint too spicy either)

When I was a kid my mom used to make me eat at least one black eyed pea on New Years Day for good luck.  I never liked em very much, nor did I like cilantro.  It certainly is interesting how our palate and preferences change over time.  I absolutely LOVE cilantro now and it is probably my favorite fresh herb.  You can make a marvelous herb infused oil out of the stuff (or this bread) but that will have to wait for another post.  Now on to the TEXAS CAVIAR:

The Peppers:

2 dried ancho Chiles
4 dried guajillo chiles
2 dried Chile de arbol (more if you want it spicier)
black pepper to taste
1 Tbsp dried hatch pepper
1 can green chiles
2 jalepeños (more if you want it spicier)
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper

Holy Toledo thats 9 different peppers! But trust me it’s not really spicy at all if you de-seed the peppers.

The other guys:

1 can white hominy
1 can black eyed peas
1 fist-full of chopped cilantro
1 cup corn kernels (frozen if it is out of season)
2 Tbsp flax seed oil
1 can chopped tomato (fresh would be better but tomato is way out of season right now and unripe tomatoes are a food crime as far as I am concerned)
salt to taste

Prep work:
Start out by snipping the stems off the dried chiles and getting the seeds out.  Then cut with your kitchen sheers into strips and then tiny squares (like your making a chile confetti).  Roast your peppers and remove skin then de-seed and cut to a large dice.  Remove stem, seeds (and their membrane) from the jalepeños and cut to a nice brunoise (that’s fancy french for a tiny uniform dice).  Drain and rinse hominy and peas.

The “cooking”:
combine all ingredients.  Seriously that’s it.  Taste it and adjust seasonings/ heat as needed.  Once you stash it in the fridge the flavors will meld and develop and the dried chiles will rehydrate.

You can serve it with chips like a salsa, put it on top of a salad with a little sour cream perhaps, or just eat it straight up with a spoon.  It’s dang good and double dang good for ya!

Wishing you health and happiness in 2012.

Eat well.

-Brent

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