Our family has some southwestern roots on my dad’s side. As a result, during my growing up years, my brother, sister and I were cordially required to ingest at least one black-eyed pea on New Year’s day. My mother insisted that it would give us “good luck” for the entire year. I, being a somewhat picky eater in my youth, refused every year and, to avoid having to sit in sullen silence at the table until I ate what was on my plate, ended up smashing one pea and hiding it in my mashed potatoes so I wouldn’t have to taste it. It worked! Since then, I really haven’t developed a love for black-eyed peas. That is… until my mom made this recipe with me in mind. I have always loved tortilla chips and anything that could be eaten with them. I’m not sure where this recipe came from so I will give credit to my mom! She probably found it in one of her cookbooks from Jacksboro, TX and then tweaked it. It can be made with all fresh and “made from scratch” ingredients or canned shoepeg corn and black-eyed peas can be used to save some time.
3/4 C red wine vinegar
3 t tabasco sauce (I use Rachel’s homemade hot sauce when we have it!)
3 T olive oil
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3/4 t pepper
I like to start with the dressing so I can add the avocado to it to keep it from browning. Add all of the dressing ingredients to a large mixing bowl and combine with a whisk.
Add to the dressing:
3 firm, ripe avocados, chopped
5 Roma tomatoes, chopped
2/3 C finely diced green onion
2/3 C chopped fresh cilantro
2 15 oz cans of black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
2 11 oz cans of shoepeg corn, drained*
salt and pepper to taste
Add the remaining ingredients to the dressing. I usually end up transferring to a larger bowl at this point. Stir well and refrigerate for at least an hour to let the flavors blend. Dried black-eyed peas can be used instead of canned. Follow the package directions for soaking and cooking. I prefer the convenience of using canned. *Shoepeg corn is carried in most grocery stores. It is a smaller, white kernel corn. If it isn’t available, regular canned or frozen corn can be substituted. Serve with tortilla chips for dipping. It makes about 8 cups. We like to use the leftovers on salad the next day.
This recipe has been really helpful for continuing my family’s tradition of eating some sort of black-eyed pea on New Year’s day. I no longer dread telling my mom that we didn’t have them at dinner. My family shares my love of dipping tortilla chips into anything that resembles salsa! While I am not a believer in luck, it is meaningful to keep some traditions from my childhood and Buck’s Cowboy Caviar has become a favorite here on the Ridge!