Sunday, January 01, 2017

Emeril Lagasse: Blackeyed Pea Jambalaya

Every year I try to do something different with my blackeyed peas.  Because you have to eat them on New Year's Day.  If you don't, there will be no good luck for you the rest of the year.  And that would be a shame.  So each year I try something different, something interesting.  How many ways are there to make blackeyed peas?  I aim to find out.  This year I decided to go the Cajun route, courtesy of Emeril.  This is certainly not a vegetarian dish, blackeyed peas are not replacing anything.  But what it IS is a way to sneak blackeyed peas onto the plates of the unsuspecting.  Boyfriend/husband doesn't like blackeyed peas?  What he doesn't know won't hurt him.  And if you do like these lucky peas, this is certainly a delicious way to cook them up this year.

Blackeyed Pea Jambalaya
Adapted from Emeril Lagasse

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces tasso ham, diced into small pieces
1 pound andouille sausage, cut into ¼-inch slices
2 cups chopped yellow onion (1 large onion)
4 ribs celery, chopped
1 red or green bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeño, minced
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons minced garlic
4 bay leaves
5 sprigs fresh thyme
8 cups chicken stock
1 pound dried blackeyed peas, soaked overnight
2 cups long grain rice
½ pound medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped
Emeril's Essence, to season
½ cup chopped green onions
2 tablespoons chopped flatleaf parsley

In a large pot over medium heat, add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the tasso and andouille sausage, and render for 5 minutes. Stir in the onion, celery, bell pepper, jalapeño, salt, cayenne pepper, black pepper, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme. Sauté for 5 minutes, or until the onions are wilted. Stir in the chicken stock and the peas. Bring the liquid up to a brisk simmer, reduce heat to medium-low and cook partially covered just until the peas are nearly tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Stir in the rice, bring the liquid to an intense boil, stir, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. Uncover the pot, stir the rice and peas again to evenly distribute the rice, then cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Cook, undisturbed, until the rice has absorbed the liquid, about 10 minutes longer. Remove from the heat.

Sprinkle the shrimp with Emeril's Essence to season. Using a large fork, gently fluff the rice and toss the shrimp, green onions, and parsley into the rice. Return the cover and allow to steam (undisturbed), for an additional 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Remove the thyme stalks and bay leaves and serve warm.

Makes 10 to 12 servings

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