Roasted Black Eyed Pea, spinach and bacon casserole
Recipe: Roasted Black Eyed Pea, spinach and bacon casserole NEW
There's a tradition in much of the South where you eat pork and black eyed peas on New Year's Day to bring you luck throughout the year. Since my mother-in-law is from Arkansas, I've always tried to keep this tradition for my husband. I'm not superstitious but it can't hurt! I had planned a chicken dinner but I didn't have the ingredients yet so I was inspired to do a new black eyed pea recipe while I was in the car on the way to the grocery store.
6 pieces of bacon, sliced crosswise into quarter inch strips
2 cups of sliced button mushrooms
3 large minced shallots
2 15 oz cans of black eyed peas, drained, rinsed and drained again
Three quarters of a cup of chicken broth (divided)
2 tsp of minced garlic (jar garlic is fine)
1 Tbl of hot sauce (Tabasco or other)
1 tsp of black pepper
One cup of Italian cheese mix or Parmesan
One half pound of baby spinach leaves (fresh)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a large sauté pan cook the bacon until crisp. You're making bacon bites. When they are nicely browned you're going to drain them on paper towels, but DO NOT wash the pan. Just pour off the grease and leave the pan as is. Next you'll sauté the mushrooms and shallots in the pan on medium, until they are just loosened up and starting to brown. This will take just a few minutes.
Now you'll put in your drained, rinsed and drained beans with a half cup of chicken broth. I am emphasizing this because you don't want the bean liquid. You need clean beans.
Add the garlic, hot sauce, and the pepper. Mix thoroughly. Add the bacon bits and mix again. Then put this mixture in a 9 X 13" ovenproof pan and bake for one hour at 350 degrees.
When the hour is up take out the casserole and stir. Add the final quarter cup of chicken broth and the spinach and the cheese. This takes a bit of patience because you will have to continually put handfuls of spinach in and toss the spinach in until it wilts. Then add the next handful. And stir again. When it's all mixed in, put the casserole back in the oven for 30 more minutes.
Serve warm, right from the oven.
Enjoy. Cheers! Zola
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