Savory Black-Eyed Pea Cakes


We serve these as a vegetarian entrée, as an hors d’oeuvre topped with Foster’s Salsa or Granny Foster’s Chili Sauce, or as a side dish to Wine-Braised Boneless Turkey Breast with Sage and Thyme or Roast Pork Tenderloin with Dried Cherries and Rosemary. At Fosters, we use frozen black-eyed peas since they’re available all year round and they taste terrific. Since black-eyed peas are traditionally served on New Year’s Day for good luck, this makes a festive party dish to celebrate January 1

Makes nine 3-inch cakes

4 cups fresh or frozen black-eyed peas
1 red onion, diced
½ red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
1 cup (4 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
2½ cups Fresh bread crumbs
⅓ cup canola or safflower oil

1. Place the peas in a saucepan and cover with water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, uncovered, 30 to 40 minutes, until the peas are tender but still holding their shape.

2. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

3. Drain the peas and divide in half. Mix half the peas in a large bowl with the onion, red bell pepper, jalapeño, Parmesan, eggs, flour, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, parsley, and 1 cup of the bread crumbs. Mash with a potato masher until well blended.

4. Fold in the reserved peas and mix thoroughly. Scoop out about ½ cup of the mixture and form into 3-inch cakes ½ inch thick. Repeat, to make 9 or 10 cakes.

5. Dip each cake into the remaining bread crumbs to coat both sides. Shake off any excess bread crumbs.

6. Heat half the oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and cook 6 to 8 of the cakes at a time (do not crowd the skillet), uncovered, 4 to 5 minutes per side or until light golden brown and crispy on the outside. (Note: Turn the cakes only once if you turn them too often, they will fall apart. If the cakes are browning too quickly, reduce heat slightly.)

7. Drain on paper towels. Place on a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while the remaining cakes are cooking. Add the remaining oil to the skillet and cook the remaining cakes. Serve immediately topped with Foster’s Salsa, Granny Foster’s Chili Sauce, or Foster’s Seven Pepper Jelly.