Years ago, Soul Food the movie landed on the big screen and there was even a TV version on Showtime. The family portrayed in the movie gathered every Sunday at their childhood home for dinner. The dinners were off the charts and even better was the concept of the family gathering around the table for a home cooked meal. This family was not perfect by any means, much like every other family. However, despite their faults and foibles they never forgot where they came from. I still have the movie on VHS. I know, who has those anymore?
Our Sunday dinners menus have been pretty full lately and we‘ve had Indian and Chinese food. This past Sunday was our Soul Food Sunday. We didn’t call it soul food when I was growing up. It was just what Mama cooked and you ate it without question. Don’t get me wrong there were no complaints, I loved every hip hugging drop. Every family has their version of soul food and I urge all of you to share a meal with your family on a regular basis. So often we eat on the run and miss the conversation and the bonding that can take place around the dinner table. I know it sounds corny, but sometimes a little corny goes a log way.
I cooked enough to last us all week and it was as good the last day as the first. Maybe even better. Other than preparing the meal I get a kick out of the planning and shopping. It was like planning a party for us. Check out this menu:
Pork Stew over Rice, Fried Chicken, Collard Greens and Cornbread, Black Eyed Pea Salad, Potato Salad, Caramel Cake and Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.
I took the picture of the Black Eyed Pea Salad on a whim, but it looks so good close-up I decided to share the recipe along with the picture. The ice cream and cake recipe are coming in a few days. I teased my family and told them this week we were having spa cuisine. They looked at me like I had horns growing out of my head. I was kidding of course, sort of. This week it’s protein, veggies and more dinner time conversation. Sounds pretty soulful to me.
Black Eyed Pea Salad
1 (15 ½ oz) can black eye peas, rinsed and drained
1 celery rib, chopped (optional)
¼ finely chopped red onion
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 TBS olive oil
1 TBS balsamic vinegar
¼ tsp salt
2-3 dashes hot sauce
1 medium tomato, diced
First of all let me reiterate that using fresh or frozen produce is always preferred. In some instances, especially where time is at a premium it’s Ok to go with canned. Just be sure and rinse the contents well. Now you may be asking why do I have to rinse the contents of the can to get rid of the sodium just to add more? When you add more, you’re in control, and you’ll notice that it’s only ¼ tsp. Rinsing will remove the salty brine, and you have no idea how much has seeped into the product.
In a medium size bowl, combine the peas, celery, onion and jalapeno pepper. In a small dish, whisk together the oil, vinegar, salt and hot sauce. Pour the dressing over the peas and mix well; cover and refrigerate until serving time. Just before serving, add the diced tomato and stir to combine. If you wanted to make a main dish out of this add cubes of turkey ham or smoked turkey.