Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Black Eyed Pea Fritters!!

If you know me, then you know that me and a couple friends host dinner parties every few months.
But you don't know me.

Unless you're Nick.

Anyway, at the last one we did, someone's husband noted that he makes really good fried chicken. And thus, it was suggested that the topic of the next dinner party be soul food. Since I used to kind of be a vegetarian or something, it is, by default, my job to make the vegetarian options.
Because I'm friends with real vegetarians.
But they don't know how to cook.
Neither do I, but people assume I can because I do it frequently, and give out tips that people haven't asked for in the first place. That don't necessarily work.

Yet another reason why I am an asshole.

Last night, I decided to soak some black eyed peas for dinner without deciding on a recipe beforehand. For once, that definitely worked out in my favor. I started looking up recipes on Epicurious while in a development meeting. For some reason, my manager opted to show us SNL skits and random videos for the first hour of the meeting.
I know what the reason was.
It was so that we could understand the references he makes.
Unfortunately, I have the attention span of a sugar high hamster, so I didn't even pay attention during that. I tried. I really did try.

Regardless, I found a recipe from a book entitled Vegan Soul Kitchen for black eyed pea fritters. Fried things? Yum! Soul Food? Sure! It says it in the title, it must be soul food!! How fortuitous!

Of course, I didn't bookmark the recipe because I told the guy next to me to take notes, and he started texting me the aforementioned notes. And I had to reply.
By writing notes on my arm.
How do I have a job? Affirmative action? Maybe I'm secretly good at what I do?

Probably not.
There are red chili flakes underneath the cayenne. Yummm

Green mess? Hell yes!

Adapted from Mark Bittman's How To Cook Everything Vegetarian 
Feeds probably 4 
1 cup black eyed peas, cooked 
2 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled 
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp red chili flakes
1 tbsp ginger
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup cilantro
half a lemon's worth of lemon juice
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 c bread crumbs
neutral oil

Place everything together in a food processor except the breadcrumbs and oil. Pulse until mixed, and if things seem too liquidy, add bread crumbs, pulse some more, until it seems less liquid-filled and like it could be used to form balls. Bean balls! I had to use a half cup, but there was probably residual liquid from the beans, which I had just finished cooking.
After forming balls, cook them in oil until browned.
Don't walk away to answer your phone.
And then channel surf.
And then realize you burnt everything.
They were delicious. Maybe not beautiful, but delicious. 

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