Friday, January 01, 2016

She Wears Many Hats: Blackeyed Pea Cakes

Every New Year's day, Southerners eat blackeyed peas for good luck in the new year.  I'm not a huge fan of plain 'ol peas, so each year I try to find a way to doctor them up.  This year I decided on a blackeyed pea cake.  As we all know, everything tastes better with bacon (second ingredient), and I liked the combo of spices that gave them a bit of a Tex-Mex flare.  After a bit of a disaster with the first batch into the pan, I adjusted the recipe and got the delicious little cakes I was looking for.  And nothing is better for dipping these than some Comeback Sauce.  Happy New Year!

Note: When I followed the original recipe, I got a loose mixture that disintegrated when I tried to bread it or fry it.  My adaptations below give you a cake that actually holds together.  Feel free to add a little more flour, if necessary, until you get a sticky mixture.  Just panko for the coating seemed to work just fine, so no need for a flour-egg-panko assembly line.

Blackeyed Pea Cakes
Adapted from She Wears Many Hats blog

2 (15-ounce) cans blackeyed peas, rinsed and drained
1 slice applewood smoked bacon, fried and crumbled
4 large green onions, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 handful cilantro leaves
½ jalapeno pepper, seeded, deveined, and chopped
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1½ teaspoons sea salt
½ cup heavy cream
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg
2 cups panko
Canola oil, for frying

Add one can of blackeyed peas, bacon, onion, garlic, cilantro, jalapeno, cumin, oregano, cayenne, salt, and heavy cream to a food processor and pulse a few times until blended. The mixture should not be totally smooth. Transfer mixture to a bowl and stir in the remaining can of blackeyed peas, flour, and egg.

Gently form the cakes. Dip the cakes in the panko to coat. Have a plate or cooling rack lined with paper towels ready for cakes when cooked.

Prepare the skillet by heating 3 to 4 tablespoons of canola oil over medium heat. Fry cakes in small batches, cooking approximately 2 to 3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Be sure to watch the oil for overheating, and, if needed, add additional oil or start with new oil if it gets too dark. Remove cakes, let cool on paper towel lined plate. Serve with Comeback Sauce.

Makes 12 cakes

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