Here is another great way to use up some of that leftover ham. Much like chili, many different ingredients can be thrown into the pot for a delicious combination. Below are the basic flavor components, after that whatever happens to be in the refrigerator and sounds good can be included. The fresh spices can also be tweaked depending on what’s on hand. Black eyed peas are a great choice because they cook faster than many other dried beans.
Black Eyed Pea and Ham Stew
- 2 cups black eyed peas
- 3-4 cups diced cooked ham
- 1 onion chopped medium
- 3 ribs celery chopped medium/small
- 5-8 carrots diced
- 1 ripe hot jalapeño diced with seeds and ribs
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tbsp fresh sage
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley
- 1 bunch spinach washed and leaves torn into medium pieces
Wash peas in cold water and discard any bad ones or stones. Melt 1 tbsp butter with 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pot and saute onion over low heat. When softened, add celery and carrots and saute until all vegetables begin to soften and onion begins to brown. Add jalapeno and garlic and turn heat up to medium. Cook until fragrant and add peas, fresh spices and ham. Mix well and then add about 8 cups of water. You can use some broth if you want, but the ham imparts plenty of flavor. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then turn down to medium low and simmer until peas are cooked, about 45 minutes. Add more water if it gets too thick. When peas are done add spinach and cook until it wilts, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately.