Growing up in Texas, holidays are a time for gathering and feasting on Tex-Mex flavors. In the South, there’s a tradition to eat black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day. This Southern side dish is usually cooked with collard greens and ham. The peas symbolize prosperity, since they grow fatter when cooked. The greens symbolize money for the year ahead. Aside from adding that smokey flavor, the pork represents beneficial forward motion, since pigs forage by rooting forward. Texas Caviar is our no-nonsense version of black-eyed pea good luck to ring in the New Year. Combined with fresh lime, pico de gallo & guacamole, this dip is a winner at any party!
6 medium Roma tomatoes
2 cans of black-eyed peas
1 small red onion or ½ a large red onion
¼ cup minced cilantro
3 small avocados or 2 large avocados
salt to taste
Any variety of tomato is delicious to use in this recipe, but Roma tomatoes are very easy to de-seed and the flesh is less watery than other varieties. Slice the tomatoes in half and cut the seeds out. The seeds can make the dip watery, so it’s best to use just the outer flesh of the tomato. Cut into small chunks.
TIP: Tomatoes can be delicate. For a cleaner cut, use a serrated knife and cut the flesh side up (skin side down).
Slice the onion into small chunks.
TIP: To keep from crying while cutting onions, you can:
- wear swim goggles
- put a piece of bread in your mouth while cutting
- chew gum
Slice the jalapeño length-wise and de-seed. Be careful not to touch the seeds. Mince the jalapeno.
TIP: You will want to make sure not to get jalapeno oil on your hands and then touch sensitive skin and/or your eyes.
- You can wear rubber gloves
- Wash your hands with dish soap and/or milk/yogurt to neutralize any burns on your hands.
- Make a paste with baking soda and water. Rub the mixture onto your hands and allow to dry before washing off.
Open the 2 cans of black-eyed peas with a can opener and drain. Set aside.
De-stem the cilantro and mince.
TIP: To quickly de-stem the herbs, you can hold the top of the stem with your left hand and pull along the stock away from the grain. To see a video of how to de-stem herbs go to my CRASH POTATOES recipe to watch the 7 second video. Click HERE: CRASH POTATOES.
Cube the avocado.
Open the avocado by slicing it in half. Twist and open. One side will have the seed. Lightly tap the seed with a knife so it has a firm hold. Twist the knife and the seed should pop out. Hold half of the avocado in one hand and draw a cross-grid with your knife. You can use a spoon to scoop out the chunks without mashing the avocado.
TIP: You can tell if an avocado is ripe by pulling off the stem (button on top). If the flesh is yellow, it means it’s not ripe yet. Green means go. Black/grey means it’s overly ripe.
Combine the diced tomato, black-eyed peas, onion, jalapeno & cilantro in a large bowl. Mix with a spoon. Cut the limes in half & squeeze the juice over the mixture.
TIP: If you do not have a juicer, roll the lime on a countertop and squeeze with your hands before cutting it in half. Hold the lime half in one hand and then use a teaspoon and twist into the flesh. You will be able to get more juice out of your lime. The more lime juice you use, the better. The acid from the lime will keep your avocados from browning.
Fold in the avocado gently, so that it doesn’t become mashed and remains in chunks.
Salt to taste. I use more salt if my corn chips are unsalted and less salt if I choose Fritos or Salted Tortilla Chips to accompany the dip.
TIP: The longer the dip sits, the more the flavors meld together.
BON APPÉTIT! Have a safe and delicious New Year from Sirens & Scoundrels!
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Recipe & Photography by Sarah Prikryl
© 2015 Sirens and Scoundrels