Somehow this whole meal came together like something out of the south. Granted, the only southern state I have ever been to is Florida, which is not exactly the stereotypical south, so I don't have any firsthand knowledge. Everything in this meal just SOUNDS so southern.
Black Eyed Peas, bacon, and spinach baked with a side of cornbread! WOW! I don't know how it came together, but I am sure glad it did.
The night before I made this I soaked 1 cup of black eyed peas in water with a splash of whey
In the morning, I rinsed and drained the beans, and then boiled them in fresh, salty water until they were soft. While that was going on, I cooked up about 7 strips of nitrate free bacon, chopped unto pieces.
In the meantime (can you say, "multitasker?!), I got together the ingredients for the cornbread: Cornmeal, baking powder, salt, milk, and eggs.
First, 2 pastured eggs were beaten.
Next, 1.5 cups of cornmeal, 1 t baking powder, and 1/2 t sea salt were added.
When they were well combined, 1/4 of souring milk and 1 cup of raw milk were mixed in.
By this time, the bacon was cooked.
I saved the bacon grease and put it into my cast iron pan. It was about 2 T worth of grease.
The pan then went into the oven for 5 minutes. When it was hot, I poured the excess grease into the cornbread batter, and sprinkled cornmeal onto the greasy pan.
When the cornmeal was brown, the rest of the batter went in over it.
It baked for 25 minutes at 400*.
Looks perfect, no?
While the cornbread baked, I sauteed an onion in the pan I cooked the bacon in.
When they were all nice and soft, I added the black eyed peas, 3 minced garlic cloves, a few sprinkles of red pepper flakes, the bacon, and 1/4 cup of turkey stock.
I let them all cook up together for a few minutes, and then transferred them to a baking dish.
It baked for an hour at 350*. When it was done, I added a bunch of organic baby spinach, a little at a time. It wilted into the baking dish.
When it was all in, fresh Parmesan cheese was shredded allllll over it.
Into the oven it went for another 15 minutes. At that point, I broiled it for the last 5 minutes to get it nice and crispy.
The finished product?
The finished product?
It called for:
- 1-1/2 cups corn meal
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1.5 cups of cornmeal
- 1 t baking powder
- 1/2 t sea salt
They didn't rise correctly and they were dry and flavorless. FAIL!
Also, this meal did not reheat well.