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.


Anonymous said...

Black eyed peas for good luck and for a happy palate sound fantastic.

Happy New Year!


Karen Harris said...

Hey, this Texas would never put you down for going freestyle on the Texas Caviar. I'm just glad you decided to see things our way! Best of luck in 2011!!!

Barbara said...

Thanks for the shout out. This is what makes changing recipes so great. Sometimrs I add sugar to mine as I like a German taste of sweet & sour. Good luck this year.

Cathy said...

Interesting, I'll give it a try. I've definitely seen similar dishes before, but without any sugar. I'll go for more vinegary, myself!