Starting 2013 Off Right: Black-Eyed Peas Benedict

Happy New Year! Hard to believe 2012 has come to an end. But man was it a good year! Of course the biggest thing was that the Mr. and I tied the knot. What a great day that was! 🙂 Can’t believe it has already been 7 months! Lets see, what else – we went to Greece for two weeks for our honeymoon, celebrated a couple of family weddings, met lots of friends new babies, went to New York and San Fran to see friends, saw Neil Diamond in concert (funny I know, but man, I love me some Neil :-)), took a glass blowing class, started this blog (after years of saying I would), golfed (the hubby did way more than me), tried lots of new restaurants, rented out my condo, celebrated the hubby’s 30th birthday, lots of dinners/events with friends, bought a new car…wait…I just keep dreaming we will do that (hahaha), got blinds on a few windows in the townhouse which was HUGE in my mind (we will finish in 2013)…and the list goes on 🙂

I am SO excited to see what 2013 has in store for us. I know we already have several trips to look forward to (Whistler at the end of January, Vegas in March, Hawaii in May, and possibly Chicago or Europe in September) but I can’t wait to see what else will happen!

For as long as I can remember, on New Year’s Day, my family always eats black-eyed  peas. My grandpa started this for the family and we have carried the tradition on! Apparently, in the Southern United States, eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day is thought to bring prosperity in the new year. As a kid I remember HATING them. In order to get them down, my sister and I used to drench them in ketchup 🙂 Now I don’t mind it. In fact, I actually like black-eyed peas! In the past I have either just heated them up or made Cowboy Caviar (a salsa like dish) but this year I wanted to come up with something new. After searching on Pinterest (my go to recipe site) I came across a very interesting looking recipe. It was Black-Eyed Peas “Benedict”. After looking at the ingredients I knew I had to make it as I already had everything in the fridge and I sure do love a good Benedict dish!

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Black-Eyed Peas Benedict (slightly altered, originally from Paula Dean)

1 can (~15 oz.) black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups ham, cooked and diced
1/3 cup green onion, chopped
1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 14 oz jar roasted red peppers
4 eggs, poached or fried
4+ cups spinach

Directions: In a medium bowl, mash beans with a fork (or potato masher), adding ham, green onion and mustard. Add just enough flour to mixture to help bind it. Add salt and pepper to taste. Shape mixture into 4-5 cakes approximately 4 inches or so in diameter. Melt butter and oil together in a large skillet over medium heat. Add cakes and brown on both sides until crispy (6-8 minutes). Keep warm while poaching the eggs. For Roasted Red Pepper Sauce, drain peppers (I got mine from Trader Joes) and place in food processor or blender. Mix until peppers are a saucy consistency (should be slightly lumpy). Set aside.

For the eggs, I used a poaching pan: fill the pan with enough water to just touch the removable tray. Coat each egg cup with cooking spray. Crack an egg in each egg cup. Plan lid on pan and bring water to a boil. The steam and heat from the water will cook the eggs (takes approximately 3 minutes). While eggs are poaching, wilt spinach in a fry pan. I typically just throw it all in the pan and cover with a lid. Will probably cook down in 2 minutes or so.

To Assemble:  Place cooked spinach in the middle of a plate and spread out to a circle just larger than the black-eyed pea cake. Top with a few spoonful’s of the roasted red pepper sauce. Place warm black-eyed pea cake on top of the sauce circle and top with a hot poached egg.

(Per original instructions, here is the recommended directions if you don’t have a poaching pan: fill a 10” skillet with 3 inches of water. Add vinegar and bring to a low boil. Break eggs into the water (note: you can break the eggs into a cup first and slide into the water). Remove with a slotted spoon just when the whites are cooked through and yolks are still loose. Approximately 2-3 min.)

This recipe turned out amazing! At one point the hubby commented that my breakfast would sell for probably $15 in a restaurant 🙂 Isn’t he sweet?

Enjoy!

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