Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spicy Stewed Black Eyed Peas and Baby Limas with Corn Quesadillas

This recipe is inspired Baby Lima Soup with Chipotle Broth from Super Natural Cooking reposted by 101 Cookbooks’ Heidi Swanson.  While the original recipe is wonderful as is, I wanted to make a heartier, spicier dish.  Plus, I wanted to adapt it for the pressure cooker.  Don’t panic, you can still do this on the stove top, see recipe notes.  If you are faint of heart, you can eliminate the chipotles and use smoked paprika…

For the stew
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs unsalted butter
1 lb frozen pearl onions
1 head garlic, peeled and separated into cloves
½ tea course sea salt
½ lb black eyed peas, quick soaked
½ lb baby limas, quick soaked or large limas
4 chipotles, in adobo about ½ a 7 oz can
8 cups beef broth
2 cups water

Coarsely chop the chipotles, set aside along with the sauce.  Heat the olive oil and butter in a 6 qt pressure cooker over medium flame.  Once the foaming subsides, add the pearl onions and garlic, no need to thaw the onions.  Stir occasionally until slightly browned. 

Add the beef broth, water, chopped chipotles and the baby limas.  Clamp on the lid and raise heat.  Bring to high pressure.  Once pressure is reached, turn down the flame and maintain pressure for 10 minutes.  Release the pressure according to manufacturer’s directions. 

Add the black eyed peas, close pressure cooker and bring back to pressure.  Cook another 10 minutes.  Turn off the heat and let pressure release naturally. Once the pressure is released, check tenderness of the limas and black eyed peas.  If still too firm, simmer gently uncovered for another 10 to 15 minutes or until beans are the desired tenderness.

To serve, squash the garlic cloves with the back of a spoon and stir in.  Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.  Serve with the corn quesadillas and salsa – optional.

For the corn quesadillas
12 corn tortillas
12 slices Monterey jack cheese
12 sprigs fresh cilantro
Salsa - optional

Place a large cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Assemble the quesadillas by sandwiching a piece of cheese and a sprig of cilantro between 2 corn tortillas.  Toast until browned in the dry cast iron skillet turning once.

Serves 6

To cook on the stove top, change cooking times to 30 minutes each.  Or use a crock pot and cook on low for 2 or 3 hours.  To make vegetarian, use a strong mushroom broth rather than the beef broth.  I wouldn’t use water or a light broth, you need something robust.  For a super quick stew, you can also substitute the giant lima beans for the baby ones, in which case, add the black eyed peas and giant limas at the same time and cook under pressure for 10 minutes then release naturally.  If you are not a chile head and don’t like spicy food, you can substitute smoked paprika for the chipotles.  I would add to taste, starting with a teaspoon and also add in a tablespoon or so of tomato paste.

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