The only thing I can say is, "I'm sorry". Life has been busy, busy with my job and it's going great. I take all these pictures of food that I plan to post yet I can't seem to find enough time to sit and write up a story to go with them. Last night, I had dinner with a dear friend whom I haven't had dinner with since last year. As we were catching up and going over all that's been going on in our lives, she proceeded to tell me of a wonderful dinner she prepared for great friends. Preempting with "you've probably already done this" (which, like, I may have but when people say that to me it takes the " I'm so proud of you" moment away from me, that I think of you and your accomplishment, when you say that you've prepared a meal. So STOP already!), she went into all the detail of this pretty incredible dinner she masterminded all by herself. It took her all day and once she served the meal, she wasn't to impressed with her meal. Well, she may not have been happy with the outcome, but, it was her guests responses that made those feelings disappear, which, is why I cook. I may not like what I present sometimes but, if someone who eats my food literally moans and groans as if they were with their favorite movie star, then that makes all the work and preparation worth it my friends. And, that's why YOU should spend more time in the kitchen. I mean really, who doesn't want to relish in that kind of moment? At my age, those moments are what make moments and that's worth slaving over the stove.
2 slices hickory-smoked bacon
1 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 cups unsalted vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (16-ounce) bag frozen black-eyed peas (about 2 3/4 cups)
3.4 ounces all-purpose flour (about 3/4 cup)
1/3 cup finely chopped green onions
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup buttermilk
Hot sauce (optional)
Preparation1. Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; finely chop. Remove 1 tablespoon drippings from pan; set aside. Increase heat to medium-high. Add 1 cup onion to remaining drippings in pan; sauté 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add stock, 1 1/2 cups water, salt, pepper, and peas to pan; bring to a boil. Partially cover, reduce heat, and simmer 35 minutes or until peas are tender, stirring occasionally.
2. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, green onions, cornmeal, and baking soda, stirring with a whisk. Cut butter into flour mixture with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add bacon, reserved 1 tablespoon drippings, and buttermilk; stir until a moist dough forms.
3. With moist hands, gently divide mixture into 12 equal portions. Drop dumplings, 1 at a time, into pan; cover and cook 8 minutes or until dumplings are done, stirring occasionally. Serve with hot sauce, if desired.