1smoked ham hock, or 2-3 slices of bacon, uncooked(optional: see recipe notes)
salt & pepper to taste
Rinse and drain fresh or frozen peas
If using bacon, cook bacon in large stockpot; remove cooked bacon strips but leave grease
Add peas and water or broth to the stockpot with the bacon grease; add enough liquid to cover peas
If using ham hock, add it to the pot now; add garlic powder
Bring to boil for 10 minutes; if a foam appears, either scrape it off or leave it; (it will dissolve)
Reduce heat to low allow to cook for 1½-2 hours
Once tender, season with salt and pepper to taste; remove from heat and allow to sit for about 10 minutes; If you want to add okra, do it now: bring the pot back up to a rolling boil, add okra, allow to boil for 2-5 minutes: cover and allow to rest for 15 min
Serve with cornbread and sliced tomatoes
You can substitute chicken or vegetable broth for water
Store fresh and frozen cooked peas in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days.
If you want to freeze cooked peas, use a freezer-storage container and store them up to six months.
Freezing Fresh, Uncooked PeasIf you buy fresh shelled, you'll want to freeze them, you'll need to blanch them first.
Rinse shelled peas and bring a pot of water to boil
Blanch peas in water for 2 minutes then place them in a bowl of ice cold water until they are no longer warm
Drain and dry; place in airtight plastic bags; don't fill the bag all the way up; leave about 2 inches of space
Reduce air in bag, zip the bag, label the package with the date, and place in the freezer
Store up to 6 months
Variations for Cooking and Seasoning Southern Peas
Vegetarian/Vegan: use vegetable broth or water, add a few splashes of Liquid Smoke® as a substitute for the meat flavor
Add Fresh or Frozen Okra:
Okra and Southern Peas go great together and many cooks add okra
Bring the cooked peas back to a boil
Add whole or chopped, fresh or frozen okra
Allow to boil 2-5 minutes until okra is tender
NOTE: okra is a thickening agent; after adding the okra, you might want to add more liquid
Most Southerners serve Hoppin' John on New Year's Eve for Good Luck. It typically consists of black eyed peas, rice, bacon, chopped onion and bell peppers. Substitute purple hull or pink eye purple hulls for the black eyed.