I can't remember a New Years day that didn't include black-eyed peas. For a huge pot filled with a ham hock and peas was present on our stove come late morning on every January 1st. A true Southerner, my mom insisted on a traditional pork roast, black-eyed pea, cooked cinnamon apple, and slow cooked green bean dinner on the first day of every year. Many of you probably know that per southern code, black-eyed peas are supposed to bring good luck for the new year. While I can't say for sure whether the peas ever brought me good luck, I can say that I'd feel rather lost without several bites of the slow-cooked, ham bone infused, black and white goodness.
I don't know about you, but when I eat black-eyed peas, they've got to have an element of heat. Pour on the clear green pepper sauce and maybe even a splash of tabasco. With the saltiness and fattiness of the ham hock, the earthiness of the beans (it's true; they are actually beans), and the spiciness of the hot sauces, I always found myself in a state of traditional southern cuisine bliss on New Years day. Even as I grew older and could only think about downing a hair of the dog after a long New Years Eve, I never once passed up my mama's annual pork and black-eyed pea feast.
But this year, I wanted to try something a little different. Don't you worry; taking black-eyed peas out of the equation was no option. Yet, I was craving a twist on the tradition. A black-eyed pea concoction that would really excite my palate. So I began brainstorming. I thought about the black bean cakes I've had at a few restaurants. Surely I could do the same thing with black-eyed peas. But I wanted more. These cakes needed a sauce of sorts. A remoulade sounded just divine. And then it dawned on me; Andouille sausage and black-eyed pea cakes topped with a Cajun remoulade. Like magic, these beauties were sitting before me just an hour ago. Needless to say, they were devoured in mere seconds. A crispy exterior with a warm mixture of beans and sausage paired heavenly with the sweet and spicy remoulade. Perfection...if I do say so myself.
Black-Eyed Pea and Andouille Sausage Cakes with Cajun Remoulade
3 cups cooked and chilled black-eyed peas (slow-cooked with ham hock is preferred but canned will work for this recipe)
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon cajun seasoning
1 tablespoon hot sauce (I used Crystal)
1 andouille sausage, diced
4 tablespoons EVOO
1/2 cup green onion, chopped
Cajun Remoulade sauce (recipe follows)
1) In a medium saucepan, sauté onions with 2 tablespoons EVOO until softened. Add garlic and andouille and continue sautéing for another 3 minutes.
2) To a colander, add three cups black-eyed peas. Press peas against the colander making sure to get rid of all the extra liquid.
3) In a large bowl, combine the peas, onion, garlic, sausage, bread crumbs, flour, cajun seasoning, and hot sauce. Mix until combined. On a large plate or cutting board, begin forming the cakes. Make them using about 3/4 cup of the mixture and shape into a patty shape like a small burger.
4) Bring a large non-stick pan to medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons EVOO. When oil begins to sizzle, add the patties, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. My pan fit 3 at a time with plenty of space between. Let cook for about 4 minutes on each side. Add a little more olive oil before each batch.
5) Serve with remoulade and a sprinkling of green onions.
***Makes 4-8 cakes depending on how big (or small) you make them.
3/4 cup mayo
1/3 cup Cajun mustard
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/3 cup diced celery
1/4 cup diced green onion
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 tablespoons hot sauce
1 tablespoon cajun seasoning
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon ketchup
Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Serve immediately and refrigerate leftovers.