Recipe Adoration: Black-eyed Pea Croquettes

Black Eyed Pea CroquettesFriday is my only day off work and I usually find myself cooking and experimenting with new recipes. The dish I decided to cook today was the Black Eyed Pea Croquettes from Alicia Silverstone’s vegan friendly cookbook, “The Kind Diet.”

I found myself drawn to this recipe because I’d never used black eyed peas before and it seemed really easy since it didn’t involve the often long process of cooking legumes. You don’t cook the legumes in this recipe; you soak them overnight or for at least 4-5 hours.

This dish feels like eating junk food because you bite into this crunchy, savory little ball that resembles falafel or some kind of fried piece of meat, but it’s just ground up black eyed peas with cumin, alternative soy sauce, parsley, and sea salt. It’s pretty healthy unless you are opposed to frying food in safflower oil. If you ever are craving something that resembles junk food or meat, this is a good one to try and you’ll be glad you didn’t break down and get fast food because this recipe is more satisfying to the palate and chock full of the right kind of protein. And just a tip–just get the black eyed peas and throw them in some water to soak as soon as you buy them so you don’t have to think about when you want to make this recipe. Drain them and store them in your refrigerator and when you are ready, they will be there waiting for you to use them.

Here’s the recipe and ingredients:
2 cups black-eyed peas, soaked overnight in water to cover
2 tbl chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
½ tsp fine sea salt
1 tbl shoyu or Braggs liquid aminos (I used Braggs)
1 tsp ground cumin
2 cups safflower oil for frying

Dipping sauce
½ cup barley malt syrup or rice syrup
1 tbl Dijon mustard

NOTE: I didn’t use her dipping sauce recipe because I didn’t have the ingredients. I used Red Wine Vinegar (1/4 cup), Stone Ground Mustard (1 tbs), Braggs soy sauce (1 tsp), and sesame oil (1 tsp). It came out bomb. I love throwing sesame oil in everything…

Recipe Continued:

Drain the soaked beans and transfer to a food processor. Add the parsle, salt, soy sauce, and cumin. Blend until the beans are chopped to fine shreds, but don’t blend them to a pulp. The mixture will be slightly wet but should hold together. Form the bean mixture into something between football and UFO shaped croquettes in the palms of your hands.

Heat 1” of oil in a cast-iron skillet to about 350 degrees Fahrenheit. To test the oil, drop in a tiny amount of croquette mixture. If it bubbles furiously and rises to the top, the oil is ready. Do not let the oil get so hot that it smokes. You may need to make little adjustments to the heat throughout the cooking process to avoid burning the croquettes.

Place 4 croquettes in the oil and fry for about 4 minutes on each side. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the fried croquettes to a plate lined with paper towels.

To make the dipping sauce, stir together the barely malt syrup and mustard in a small saucepan. Warm the sauce until it bubbles.

Serve the croquettes while still hot. Drizzle with the dipping sauce or serve it alongside in a dipping bowl.

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