Black eyed peas have several different names in Spanish, but my favorite one is frijoles caritas, which means "beans with little faces".
This recipe is similar to Hoppin' John, a dish of black eyed peas and rice cooked with a little country ham for seasoning, popular in the Southern part of the United States. This version is quick to make and slightly spicier, with bacon instead of ham for flavor (chorizo would work well too) and a hint of smoky chile peppers.
- 3 slices of bacon
- 1/2 cup chopped onions
- 3-4 celery stacks, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon aji panca chile pepper paste, or 1 tablespoon chopped chile pepper, or 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder (optional)
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 2 cans of black eyed peas
- 2 cups rice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook rice according to package directions (or see recipe: South American-style Rice). When rice is cooked, take it off of the heat but keep it covered on the stove.
- In a medium skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy. Remove from pan and place on a plate lined with paper towels. When cool, crumble bacon and set aside.
- Sauté onion and celery in the bacon grease until soft and translucent. Add chile pepper paste and seasonings and cook vegetables for a few minutes more.
- Partially drain beans, leaving a little bit of the liquid with the beans, and pour beans into the skillet. Continue to cook, until beans are heated through. Stir in cooked rice if desired (or keep rice separated and serve beans over the rice)
- Serve warm, garnished with a little chopped cilantro and crumbled bacon.