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Creamy Black-Eyed Peas with Bacon
from the kitchen of Sharmagne Leland-St. John

1 pound dried black-eyed peas
2 tablespoons bacon grease
5 strips thick sliced bacon, cut into 12-inch pieces
1 medium red onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
4 cups chicken stock plus extra for soaking
3 bay leaves

Rinse the dried peas and place them in a large pot. Cover
with about 4 inches of chicken stock. Soak the peas overnight,
then drain and rinse.

Place the bacon in a large pot over medium-high heat. Once
you have a bit of grease in the bottom, add the onion and garlic
and cook, stirring, until the onion and garlic are lightly brown-
ed, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the black pepper, Cajun seasoning
and garlic powder. Cook until the entire mixture is coated with
the spices, about 2 minutes. Pour in the stock and the bay leaves.

Add the prepared peas to the pot. Bring to a boil then simmer until
the peas are extremely soft, about 1 to 1 12 hours. Remove from
stove, ladle out 1 cup of the mixture including some broth and purée
in a blender with the tablespoons of bacon grease. Return the purée
to the pot. Mix well until you have a creamy blend. Taste for season-
ing and adjust as needed.


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