Falling under the “field pea” umbrella, cowpeas are small but mighty. Like their more famous cousins, they have a “black eye” but are darker and rounder in overall appearance. Note that these legumes like other field peas are meatier and fuller tasting. Goya among other brands sells them in dry bags and cans. I used this recipe from myrecipes.
Note on “succotash”: The dish has a Native American origin and is particularly popular in the Southern US. It’s usually a vegetable side dish featuring one or more of the following: beans, lima beans, corn, bell pepper, tomatoes, sometimes lard. Proportionally, the veggies should be just as prominent as the legume. The first time I heard the word was via Slyvester the Cat in Looney Tunes and his catch phrase “suffering succotash!” It was believed to be a way to avoid saying the more blasphemous “suffering savior.”
1 ½ cup dried cowpeas (soaked overnight)
1 small onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 ½ cup frozen corn
1 carrot, chopped small
1 cup stock from crowder peas
1 T vinegar
1 t dried thyme
1 t cayenne pepper
salt to taste
pepper to taste
green onions (as garnish, optional)
Simmer cowpeas/crowder peas around 30 minutes on low with enough water to cover. Turn off once 90% cooked. Drain and keep aside the pea stock. In a medium pan set to medium low, add in chopped onion and bell pepper. Cook for 5-7 minutes. Next, add in the corn, carrot and peas. Cook another couple of minutes. Now add thyme, vinegar, cayenne, salt and pepper and 1 cup of the stock. Mix well and cover. Garnish with green onions. Remaining stock can be frozen and actually goes great in stir fry or soups.