With my changes, this is now a 5 star dish. First, I used 1 lb. of dried black-eyed peas and 4 bay leafs and put them in my crock pot on warm. I really didn't think I would be doing any cooking until the morning, but 4 hours later, the peas were tender, so I drained the peas and removed the bay leafs. I put the peas back in the crock pot with 1 large white onion that I had diced and sauteed along with 4 cloves of chopped garlic and 4 diced jalapenos - 2 of which I seeded before sauteeing. I then added a 20 ounce can of petite tomatoes with the liquid and stirred, and one diced red smoked and seeded red pepper. I then sauteed approx. 2 lbs. of chicken sausage without the casings, but with the 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Once drained, I added that to the pot and stirred. I added 2 tablespoons of kosher salt, a 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, and 2 tablespoons of cumin for that smoky flavor. I added 4 cups of water and 4 bouillon cubes, and stirred it altogether. After about an hour when everything was hot and the flavors melded together, I tasted it and realized it would be too spicy for my friends (they don't eat pork), so I added a 1/2 cup of honey, and a lot of the heat dissipated. I then cooled that overnight and reheated it in the morning. The flavors were perfect, but the stew was a bit too soupy for my tastes. So, I added 1 cup of medium grain white rice and 2 lbs. of fresh chopped spinach. I also omitted the shredded cheese. Served with hearty bread.
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With my changes, this is now a 5 star dish. First, I used 1 lb. of dried black-eyed peas and...