Advocate-tested recipe

Purple-Hull Peas With Pickle Meat

Makes 6 servings as a side dish, or 4 as an entrée over rice. Recipe is by Cynthia L. Nobles, who says, “Like most Southern peas, purple-hulls came to the U.S. through the African slave trade, and records indicate that it, with its trademark deep-purple hull, was commonly sold in old New Orleans open-air markets. Pickle meat is tough and is usually cooked with dried beans that take a long time to tenderize. So when using with relatively quick-cooking beans such as purple hulls, cook and tenderize the meat first.”

8 ounces pickle meat (pickled pork)

2 cups chicken stock

1 cup water

Ground black pepper and cayenne to taste

1 pound frozen or fresh purple-hull peas

¼ teaspoon salt

Cooked white rice for serving, optional

1. Combine pickle meat, stock, water, black pepper and cayenne in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cover tightly, lower heat to a simmer and cook until tender, about 1 hour.

2. To same pot, add peas and enough water to cover peas by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally and maintaining water level.

3. Beans are ready when they’re tender but not falling apart, and liquid is creamy. Stir in salt and serve as a side dish or over rice.