Sweet (and Lucky?) Black-Eyed Pea and Corn Caviar
I've never bought into the idea of eating lucky foods on New Year's Day, but this year I can use all the help I can get. That's because my older son turns 16 in a few days. He's in no rush to get his learner's permit -- he may be intimidated by upstate New York's snowy winter roads -- but he'll be behind the wheel sometime in 2011. I remember what I was like as a 16-year-old driver. All I can say is, yikes.
So which lucky dish to eat? Hmmm ... my in-laws eat canned herring on New Year's Day, but that doesn't appeal to me. I've heard about cabbage being lucky, but I only like it in coleslaw and I had that a couple of days ago. I settled on black-eyed peas, because they were in a yummy appetizer I ate at picnics last summer. It was a mosaic of colorful veggies in a marinade that reminded me of my favorite bean salad, and was served with scoop-type chips. I was told it was Texas Caviar ... or maybe it was Cowboy Caviar.
Unfortunately I never got the recipe last summer. Online searches turned up spicy concoctions and I wanted something sweeter, with just a bit of heat. So here's the version I put together. I'm calling it Sweet Black-Eyed Pea and Corn Caviar because because Texans would probably disavow this sweet version, and it's certainly unlucky to tick off a Texan. If you would prefer a more authentic Texas version, I suggest you try this one, from native Texan and fellow contest cook, Barbara Hahn.
Sweet Black-Eyed Pea and Corn Caviar
This dip is great for parties as it can sit out for several hours without refrigeration.
1 cup sugar (or to taste - I may reduce next time)
1/4 cup salad oil
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Salt & Pepper, to taste
A few green onions, finely chopped (red onion would be good, too)
1 medium pepper, finely chopped (I used an orange one this time)
1 (15 ounce) can black-eyed peas, drained rinsed
1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed (or use a second can of black-eyed peas)
2 (15 ounce) cans bread & butter corn, drained
1 (15 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes, well drained
2 rings of jalapenos, from a jar of jalapeno rings, or more to taste
1 bag Baked Tostitos Scoops (or another scoop-type corn chip)
Mix together the vinaigrette ingredients. Stir until the sugar is mostly dissolved.
Mix together the veggies. Gently stir in the vinaigrette and and let marinade 2 or more hours. (Overnight is best.)
To serve, it looks nicest to use a slotted spoon to take the veggies out of the marinade and into a nice serving bowl.
Serve with chips.