Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Hoppin' John Bean Butter

Don't save the black-eyed peas for New Year's Day. This is a super-easy treat you can enjoy all year long. This dish splits the difference between traditional hummus and typical Southern fare, but the outcome is something very special. The creaminess of the beans serves as the perfect vehicle for the heat of the Tabasco and the smokiness of the salt.

This is a great dish for a party. You can make it ahead of time and have it on the table when your ravenous guests arrive. For a little extra flair, save a few peas to garnish the top of the dish.

Hoppin' John Bean Butter

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large garlic cloves (smashed)
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 1/2 cups prepared black-eyed peas (or 1 can drained)
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1 teaspoon)
1 tablespoon tahini
1/2 teaspoon hickory smoked sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

In a medium pan over medium-low heat, add the olive oil, garlic, coriander, and cumin. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the garlic has softened. Add the contents of the pan to the work bowl of your food processor along with the black-eyed peas, Tabasco, lemon juice, tahini, hickory smoked sea salt, and cracked black pepper. Blend until smooth. Serve with toasted baguette or pita chips.

Makes 1 1/2 cups. Serves about 4 as an appetizer.