Summer is coming

I know this because, when I stepped into the truck after work a few days ago, the steering wheel was quite hot to the touch. That means it’s time to plant the black-eyed peas.

I guess that’s phenology, Texas-style.

The kids like it when the peas come in each summer, because I make this savory pie with black-eye peas and chorizo. It’s based on a recipe I saw in a Martha Stewart magazine about 20 years ago.

Black-eyed pea pie

2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. each salt and sugar
1 cup unsalted butter
6 T. ice water

Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Cut in butter. Stir in enough water to form a ball. Divide into two, with one a little larger than the other, as this will be the bottom section, and flatten into disks. Chill for at least an hour.

1 cup fresh black-eyed peas
several cloves garlic
Bay leaf
Bunch of spinach
Small bunch of cilantro, stems separated from leaves and leaves chopped
2 T. olive oil
1 onion, sliced
1 jalapeno, chopped
12 button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 lb chorizo, crumbled
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups grated Monterey jack cheese
Cayenne pepper to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Egg wash (one egg thinned with a few tablespoons of water)

Start the filling by preparing the peas. Put 1 cup of fresh peas in pot and add enough water to cover. Drop in a bay leaf, 2-3 small cloves of garlic, some fresh ground pepper and the stems from a bunch of cilantro (you’ll use the leaves later). Cook until the peas are soft. This could take an hour or more. Drain, removing the leaves and stems and let cool a little.

Wash a bunch of spinach and place in pot with water still clinging to the leaves. Add another 2-3 cloves of garlic and cover the pot. Turn the heat on medium and steam until the leaves have wilted. This will only take a few minutes. Drain and let cool a little, then chop roughly.

Heat 1 T. olive oil in saute pan, brown mushrooms. Set aside. Heat remaining oil in saute pan, add onions and cook until starting to brown, add chorizo and jalapeno and cook until much of the fat is rendered from the chorizo. Drain and set aside.

Whisk eggs and add milk, cilantro leaves and 1 cup of the cheese and a dash of cayenne (more if you think your chorizo needs help) in a bowl. Set aside.

Roll out half the pie dough and place in the bottom of a deep dish pie pan, make sure you have a good inch or two of excess around the edges. Add the spinach, then the peas and chorizo mixture, pour the eggs over the top and then top with the remaining cheese. Roll out the other half of the pie dough and place on top of the pie. Fold the bottom over the top and pinch the edges. Cut an “x” in the middle of the pie and fold back the corners for a vent. Brush with egg wash and bake 45-60 minutes at 375 degrees until golden brown. Let it sit for 15 minutes before serving.


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