In the winter, nothing beats a comforting bowl of dried beans and hot buttered cornbread. However, preparing dried beans can be quite a hassle, with soaking and long cooking times. Luckily, there’s an alternative that offers all the taste with less effort – dried field peas. These little legumes can be prepared quickly and easily, making them the perfect weeknight meal addition. Read on to learn how to cook them to perfection.
The Earthy Delight of Field Peas
Field peas may be small, but they are bursting with an earthy, nutty flavor that makes them one of our favorite dried beans. Before cooking any type of dried bean, it’s important to give them a good rinse, just like you would with fresh vegetables.
For a smaller portion that serves about four people, rinse 1 cup of dried field peas and place them in a small 2-quart pot. Add 3 cups of water, and you’re ready to start the soaking process.
Quick Soak or Traditional Method?
There are two ways to soak beans – the traditional method or the quick soak method. If you’re in a rush, the quick soak method is your best bet. After adding the peas and water to the pot, bring it to a boil for 2 minutes. Then, simply cover the pot with a lid and let the peas soak for a couple of hours. If you have more time, you can let them soak all day while you’re at work.
Cooking the Peas
When you’re ready to cook, ensure that there is enough water to just cover the peas. Some people prefer to drain and add fresh water, but we’ve found that keeping the soaking water enhances the flavors of the peas. Put the pot on the stove and bring it to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Cook the peas uncovered for about 15-20 minutes, adding 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of fresh cracked pepper (to taste) at the 10-minute mark. Keep an eye on the water level and add more as needed.
These peas cook quickly, so be careful not to overcook them. You want them tender, but not mushy. We prefer our vegetables with a bit of bite!
Tips for a Mess-Free Cooking Experience
When cooking peas or any dried beans, they tend to produce foam that can bubble over your pot and create a mess. To prevent this, add a teaspoon of vegetable oil or a pat of butter to the pot. If you have a vented lid, use it to allow steam to escape and minimize foaming. If not, you can slightly tilt the lid to achieve a similar effect.
Take Your Field Peas to the Next Level
This basic recipe for dried field peas serves as a great base for experimentation. Once you’ve soaked the peas, you can add chopped onions, carrots, spices, and herbs to take the dish to a whole new level. Get creative and make a quick soup with field peas!
For more delicious recipes and food inspiration, visit Ekilove. Enjoy the wonderful flavors of dried field peas and let them become a favorite side dish in your home too!
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