Old Bay Black Eyed Peas, Peach Chow Chow, and Collards

Old Bay Black Eyed Peas, Peach Chow Chow, and Collards

I have a confession: I’m a closeted Southern food fanatic. And not because I’m ashamed or embarrassed. Quite the opposite actually! I say I’m closeted because, despite my in-depth search, I continue to find it difficult to access Southern food. Think about it, how many Italian restaurants are available within a 10 mile radius from your home? Or what about Thai food, or Mexican, or a classic French restaurant? I bet most of you could name 5 restaurants in your town and not one would be Southern. And I bet you don’t come across many Southern inspired recipes like my Old Bay Black Eyed Peas, Peach Chow Chow, and Collards recipe often. That needs to change. There needs to be more Southern food!

Old Bay Black Eyed Peas, Peach Chow Chow, and Collards

Here’s a question for ya: how many of you think Southern food is basically fried chicken and biscuits? I dont blame you for thinking so! I used to as well!! But Southern food is SOOOOOO much more than that. What I love about Southern food (other than the delicious flavors) is the immensely rich history is originates from. Southern food is rooted in hundreds of years of storytelling. It comes from African, European, Appalachian, and Native American traditions (to name a small few). It’s one of the most powerful storytellers of our nations past. Each recipe is built from family history, American history, and cultures that helped shape the way Americans utilize agriculture.

A major component of Southern cuisine revolves around fresh fruits and vegetables, typically grown from heirloom seeds passed down from generations before. A 300 year old bean might be a key component on your modest looking plate of hoppin john. Southern cuisine may seem simple compared to most culinary techniques, but it’s history is far more complex than anything you could put on a plate.

Old Bay Black Eyed Peas, Peach Chow Chow, and Collards

This Old Bay Black Eyed Peas, Peach Chow Chow, and Collards recipe is not too innovative. Because Southern food is so rich with tradition, I wanted to keep this recipe pretty close to the original. I did take a few creative liberties where I could- I added a Southern favorite, Old Bay Seasoning, to black eyed peas. The celery salt in the seasoning played perfectly with the celery seed in the peach chow chow (my quick take on a Southern pickled condiment). The biggest change to my recipe is that it’s 100% vegetarian. While collards and black eyed peas are typically made with some kind of smoked pork product, this recipe uses my favorite smoked ingredient hack: smoked paprika!

So even though we (outside of the South) may not be as comfortable with Southern food as other cuisines, hopefully this Old Bay Black Eyed Peas, Peach Chow Chow, and Collards recipe will show you a piece of this richly diverse and powerful cuisine. My hope is that we’ll start seeing more chicken bog and field peas on menus across the country. Until then, we can always visit restaurants like The Grey or anything created by Sean Brock.

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Old Bay Black Eyed Peas, Collards, and Peach Chow Chow
This vegetarian take on a few Southern classics is a wonderfully comforting blend of textures and flavors. With it's smoky black eyed peas, to the creamy collards, and the bright and zinging chow chow, this meal will take you to a new level of Southern cooking.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Old Bay Black Eye Peas
Collard Greens
Peach Chow Chow
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Old Bay Black Eye Peas
Collard Greens
Peach Chow Chow
Instructions
Peach Chow Chow
  1. If you would like to can your chow chow (which is standard in the south), bulk your ingredients up and proceed with proper canning techniques. Otherwise, for my quick version- Place all of the vegetables in a large bowl and sprinkle with salt. Toss vigorously to coat veggies well with salt. Place vegetables in refrigerator overnight. Drain any liquid accumulated, gently rinse off any leftover salt on the vegetables, and drain.
    collard green, black eyed peas, and peaches
  2. Place sugar and vinegar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When the mixture starts to boil, add in the remaining ingredients. Reduce heat to low, cover, and boil for 5 minutes. Add the drained vegetable mix to the saucepan, stir, and cook for additional 5 minutes, stirring often. Serve either warm or chilled.
    Green tomato
Old Bay Black Eyed Peas
  1. Wash and drain the black eyed peas, making sure to sift through and remove any pebbles or inedible items accidentally left in the mix. Add the oil to a large saucepan over medium high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add in the diced vegetables. Saute the vegetables for 5 minutes. Add in the black eyed peas, vegetable stock, Old Bay, smoked paprika, and a large pinch of salt. Reduce heat, cover, and cook for 1-1 1/2 hours, or until the peas have reached your desired consistency (I preferred mine a little more al dente but some prefer a softer, more creamy consistency). Season with salt and apple cider vinegar.
Collard Greens
  1. Cut the thick rib out of the center of the collards. Roll the collards up like a burrito and cut into thick strips. Add the oil to a medium saucepan over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add in the onions and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add in the garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add in the collards and vegetable stock. Reduce heat, cover, and cook for 1-1 1/2 hours. Season with smoked paprika and salt.
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