Garlicky Black-Pepper Shrimp and Black-Eyed Peas

I realized that I’ve been cooking for myself over the past few months all wrong. I can see myself now. Every few days I would traipse around the aisles of Whole Foods, buying things in small doses. For a while it looked like I was grocery shopping for a rabbit. But then one day last week my brain decided to switch itself back on, and together we came up with the idea of cooking one full recipe of something and eating it throughout the week (or longer). 

I’ve eaten this garlicky black-pepper shrimp and black-eyed peas dish back home about thirteen-zillion times. It’s one of those dishes that is delicious when you first cook it, but becomes even better when it has the opportunity to sit around for a day or so.

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So the first thing that this recipe starts with is bacon, a glorious, magical thing that can never make anything taste worse. Seriously, I’ve actually thought about it in depth. Is there really any food that would taste WORSE if bacon was added to it? I’m honestly giving it some thought right now and am still stumped. If someone can think of a single thing that would be fouled-up by the addition of bacon, please feel free to let me know because I am genuinely curious.

The one dastardly part of cooking bacon (at least for me) is standing over it a constant state of fear that its porky fumes will smoke up my apartment and set off the fire alarm. It’s happened before. I can see it now: a thick cloud of bacon smoke sailing out of my window, the fire alarm sounding its barbaric yawp, and my neighbors gathering together in the hallway shaking their heads in disgust.

Thankfully that scenario didn’t happen because (hacks for hacks) I tied a dish towel over my fire alarm. A wonderful blend of stupidity and effectiveness.

After you finish rendering the bacon, put it on a plate and tear it up. Try not to eat it. I didn’t. Ok, I did. But at least I tried not to, so that must count for something.

In the same skillet, cook down your veggies, then add the chicken stock and beans and let it simmer for a little. Then dump the whole shebang into a bowl while you prepare the shrimp.

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The shrimp take very little time to make, which is always nice. Cook them with the garlic for a few minutes, and then add the wine, bring to a boil and then a simmer. Try not to drink the wine. I didn’t. Well ok, I did.

The finished product is a glorious, cozy bowl of shrimp with the complexity and homey-warmth of the black-eyed peas. It really would be even better accompanied by a freshly toasted baguette, so do yourself a favor and buy some. And it will last you all week. Unless you’re like me and you have a very limited amount of willpower. In that case it may last a few days.

 

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