Last Saturday, one of the vendors at the farmers’ market had fresh blackened peas. They are not grown much around here, and I was delighted to find them. I bought enough for a good mess and even got them shelled that evening!
Then, I received a request for info and a picture for the Master Gardener webpage to promote a fried green tomato cooking demonstration I’m going to do in September. That started the wheels turning… fried green tomatoes would be good with the backeyed peas. And, since I had to fry up some tomatoes for the picture anyway…
The menu kept on growing… There should be some greens on the plate, and there was Tuscan kale in the refrigerator. I didn’t want a whole pan of corn bread tempting me, so I made a small batch of polenta or should I call it corn meal mush on a southern influenced menu?
I have to have seasoning in my blackened peas. I like a ham bone or sometimes thick sliced bacon. This time salt pork was the choice. I sliced and diced some for the pot and then I cut a few thick slices, removed the skin from them and fried them in their own rendered fat. Just a couple of bites per slice and two slices per serving were only slightly lethal, I’m sure.
It plated up nicely and made a southern boy happy the way only comfort food can… and it became a Mostly Meatless Monday all because of what had to go with the fried green tomatoes.