Thursday, December 30, 2010

Black Eyed Peas & Southern Skillet Cornbread

I almost decided to make Texas Caviar this year, but put it off. Somehow cold, slightly tangy peas don't sound as appealing as a warm bowl of black eyed peas swimming with salt pork and jalapenos. So there's that. And there's the fact that I've been dying to have some cornbread. Cornbread, as I'm sure you know, pairs wonderfully with soupy black eyed peas.

Now I'll be honest, 75% of the time I use Jiffy. It comes in a nostalgic looking box, you add exactly 1 egg and about 1/3 c milk and, well, its ready in a Jiffy. Its delicious and exactly the flavor I remember from my childhood. And each little box of mix? Usually 39 cents at the grocery store- awesome. But every so often I get the hankerin' for good ole fashioned southern-style skillet cornbread made with bacon drippings (yum) and baked in a cast iron skillet for the perfect crunch along the bottom (double-yum). So this New Year's I thought I'd share my simple recipes for black eyed peas, for luck, and skillet cornbread, because you need this cornbread in your life.

Black Eyed Peas
(printable recipe)

1/2 lb. dried black eyed peas
6 oz. salt pork, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1 large jalapeno, sliced
1/2 tsp. ham base
salt & pepper to taste

Sort through the peas, removing any debris. Pour water over them to cover by about 3 inches. Cover and boil 15 minutes. Drain the peas and set aside. In the same pot add the salt pork and a little oil. Fry on all sides until it gets a little color. Add the onion and jalapeno, continue cooking until the onion is translucent.
Add the black eyed peas and 5 cups of water or chicken stock. Simmer until tender, season to taste and serve with cornbread.

Southern Skillet Cornbread
(printable recipe)

1 c yellow cornmeal
1/2 c flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 c buttermilk
1 egg
1/4 c bacon grease

Place a greased cast iron skillet in the oven. Set to 400 degrees to preheat. Combine the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl combine the buttermilk, egg, and bacon grease. Add wet to dry mixture, mix well. Carefully remove the preheated skillet from the oven and pour in the batter. Bake at 400 degrees until golden brown. Allow to cool slightly before removing, it will come away from the pan easier. Cut with a sharp knife and run knife along the edge to loosen.

Pairs well with black eyed peas or ham & bean soup!


  1. Yummy! My favorite meal of the year and I'll be making it too, along with collard greens. Your photos, as usual, are gorgeous.

  2. Oh man, I could eat a huge plate of this stuff. Looks great.

  3. Yum! I think we were thinking a long the same lines today! check out my post :)

  4. Hey and happy New Year! I love me some corn bread and yours looks and sounds perfect! Yum!!! Im your newest follower ;)

  5. This cornbread is awesome, after making the bacon in the oven and baking in my very old cast iron pan, I'm good for the evening!!! My daughter found your recipe and I'm hooked now. Will certainly start following your other recipes as well:)