As a kid I did not like black-eyed peas. I thought they tasted like dirt. My grandpa grew them in his garden, so my grandmother would end up with bags upon bags of them in the freezer. Looking back, I’d kill for those bags of fresh-picked peas.
Since I typically have to settle for the dried variety, I use my electric pressure cooker to make quick magic of the now-loved little beans. I have found some conflicting information about how long to cook black-eyed peas, so I had to do a bit of experimenting. Below is how I make them, along with some ideas for flavoring. Note that if you have a stove top pressure cooker the PSI and cook time can differ.
Black-Eyed Peas in an Electric Pressure Cooker
1 lb of black-eyed peas
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon oil (any cooking oil will do)
Optional but recommended (all or some):
1 bay leaf
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 onion, quartered
1. Rinse your beans in a colander and pick over them. What does this mean? Sift through the beans and looks for any bad ones (shriveled up and gross looking) or rocks. Yes, it happens.
2. Add the oil, garlic and onion (if using) to the pot of your pressure cooker and select Saute. Once hot, cook for a few minutes and stir until fragrant. Turn off the Saute function.
3. Add the beans, salt, and bay leaf (if using) and stir. Add 6 cups water or, even better, 3 cups stock and 3 cups water. Secure the lid.
4. Cook at high pressure for 8-10 minutes if you think your beans are pretty fresh and depending on how tender you like your beans. Cook for 10-12 minutes if they’ve been on the store shelf for a bit and depending on how tender you like your beans. Don’t worry, we can fix it if they are not cooked enough.
5. Use a natural release. Once depressurized, check your beans. If they are tender enough, then move on! If not, select Saute and loosely cover. Check every five minutes until they are tender.
6. Drain your beans and flavor them. If they’re going in a soup or you like them plain, then leave them bean (get it??). If you want a little more flavor for your side dish, then see my suggestions below.
- harissa adds a kick
- chopped fresh tomatoes, peppers, and onion add fresh flavor and texture
- cumin, cayenne, and/or paprika add smoky spice
- a dollop of sour cream and chives gives them the baked potato treatment
- chopped bacon adds, well, salty bacon
- chopped fresh parsley adds herbiness and can be used in combination with any of the above flavorings