Black Eyed Pea Cakes
I have to admit that some of my favorite challenges are ones where I’m forced to use things already on hand – such as the Cook from your Pantry challenge on /52weeksofcooking. Not only do they force me to clean out things that might have been hiding in a back corner, but they also cause me to take stock of what all I’ve got – and what I might need. In this case I had purchased a few cans of black eyes peas with the intent to make Texas Caviar, which never happened. So I pulled those out and modified a recipe a coworker had given me a few weeks earlier for Black Eyed Pea Cakes. The original recipe came with some delicious Vidalia Onions (straight from Georgia!) and featured a few ingredients that weren’t exactly vegetarian friendly (again, recipe is straight from Georgia).
These cakes weren’t the most stable when it came time to cook them, even after chilling in the fridge, but they were delicious! I served them with some coleslaw which added a nice crunch to the dinner. A green salad would also work – just need to have something with a bit of a bite so that the jaw doesn’t get bored! They would also make a great appetizer, just shrink the size to 2 inches and enjoy! With that the cakes could also be prepped the night before, or the morning of, depending on free time.
Sweet Potato Latkes
Hanukkah is fast approaching, which means it’s time to bring out all of my favorite fried foods! The one time of the year where it’s encouraged to indulge in all things fried and dairy, and with that it’s probably a good thing that it only happens once a year.
This year I plan to share my four favorite Hanukkah recipes, all of which are vegetarian friendly and two of which are vegan friendly. First up on the list are Sweet Potatoes latkes, which are based on a recipe I got from a friend’s mom for traditional Potato latkes. This recipe falls in to the category of vegetarian friendly, though I’m sure a product such as Vegg could be used in place of the eggs to bind the ingredients.
I love all the symbolism that is found in traditional Hanukkah foods, it just adds another dimension to a holiday that is already packed full with remembrance and celebration. I also love any excuse to eat fried foods, and have a feeling I’ll be spending more than 8 days in the gym working all of this indulgence off!
I’m also sending this recipe over to r/52weeks as part of the Middle East theme. While latkes originated in Europe, they are closely associated with Hanukkah and with that Israel. For a truly Middle Eastern dish please check out my post for Shakshuka.
Fried Green Tomatoes
I love cooking challenges, being forced to work outside of my comfort zone and experiment with new to me ingredients and techniques. There is nothing like pushing yourself and discovering something new and exciting and different. A few months ago Joe introduced me to a rather addicting website that hosts a variety of cooking themed forums. Among them is one called /52weeksoffood in which a different theme is picked every week, ranging from specific ingredient to cooking technique to ethnicity to everything in between. The week the theme was color, something I’m familiar with after last year’s International Incident Party. I asked Joe to pick a color for me which resulted in a me coming up with a green themed meal. Instantly I knew I want to do Fried (or baked) Green Tomatoes in an attempt to take care of some of the tomatoes in my garden while trying something new. I rarely ever fry food, but there are a few things that I do enjoy better friend than baked. Which is why I asked for, and luckily received, a gorgeous stove top fryer as a wedding present. This one can be used as a large saute pan while the basket doubles as a steamer, so it can be used on not-as-bad for me foods as well. So I set the oil to heat while I went out to the garden to collect some fresh tomatoes. Since I’m growing a variety of black tomatoes, they are closer to red than your typical green tomatoes but are the same ripeness wise. In order to add more green to things I decided to grab some basil as well in the hope of making a basil aoili. While the aoli didn’t work as well as I planned, the tomatoes were perfection.
I wound up serving them sandwich style on some leftover Basil Foccacia bread along with fresh basil and some melted mozzeralla cheese, almost a fried tomato caprese sandwich in you will.