Monday, January 4, 2016
Celebrate the New Year with this Nigerian good luck meal featuring black-eyed peas and plantains. We grew black-eyed peas last year for the first time and found them fun and easy-to-grow. I saved some dried to use for a special recipe to ring in the New Year. Last year we made Hoppin' John.
This recipe is my version of Ewa Dodo. Ever since I learned how to cook beans from macrobiotic cooks back when I had my health food restaurant, to this day, I still add a small piece of dried kombu seaweed to the bean pot. I also add a splash of vinegar to bean dishes when they are cooking.
For flavor, adding garden herbs and hot pepper enhances the recipe without adding extra salt. I also added a few sweet peppers because we had a bountiful fall harvest and have a freezer full! Stews are like soups - you can be creative and use up ingredients that you may have available.
fish or shrimp (can be salmon, tilapia or we used grilled Chilean Sea Bass)
2 ripe Plantains
Vegetable oil enough for frying
1 1/2 cups dried black-eyed peas
small piece dried kombu seaweed
1 cup chopped onion
1-2 small sweet peppers, chopped
dried hot pepper, minced (however much you want to add)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon minced ginger
2-3 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Putting it all together
Decide how you want to cook the fish: in the stew or cook it and then add it to the stew. Traditional Nigerian stew cooks the fish directly in the stock pot. We used sea bass and grilled it before adding it to this New Year's dinner.
In a stock pot, rinse and soak the black-eyed peas for 2 hours. Drain and refill with fresh water add a small piece of dried kombu seaweed. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer, partially cover and cook until tender. Drain (to stop cooking), saving cooking liquid and set aside.
Fry the Plantains
Peel ripe plantains (ripe plantains have black sections all over skin), slice on bias (diagonal), and fry plantains in veggie oil until golden. Place on paper towels to cool and blot off excess oil, set aside.
In stock pot, heat olive oil; saute onion and peppers; stir in garlic and ginger. Add seasonings and tomatoes, stir. Add beans and saved bean cooking liquid - add as much as desired. You may or may not use all of it, depending on how much water you cooked your beans in. Use your judgement. Stir in vinegar, fish and parsley; cover and simmer to blend flavors.
Note: this was our first time frying plantains, we fried yellow plantains and found them to taste starchy and dry so we added them in with the stew rather than serving as a side. We learned that you should wait until the plantains get some blackening on the skin before peeling and frying.
Happy New Year!
Beans, Beans, They're Good for your Heart...
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