Sunday, December 18, 2011

Caviar Not the Kind You're Thinking, Part Two

The previous post contained the recipe for Samurai Caviar. This one will include the original recipe for Cowboy Caviar, the inspiration for the Asian version.

Friends from Texas knew what this was when I made it for office parties. It may be found in other parts of the South. If there's anyone reading this who knows, please tell me?

A local friend gave us the original recipe, to which he adds lots more hot sauce. (Hot sauce and items with lots of salt encourage drinking!) The only fellows who avoided eating this were Dennis, who doesn't eat vegetables (but these are beans!) and Nate, who doesn't eat cilantro. Here's the recipe:

Cowboy Caviar

  • 2 cans black-eyed peas, drained
  • 10 ounces corn – frozen or canned – drained
  • 3/8 to ½ cup Newman’s Balsamic vinaigrette (lowfat is just as good)
  • ½ cup cilantro (leave this out if you don’t like the taste)
  • optional: 2 cloves garlic, cut into large slivers or finely minced
  • 1 small firm avocado, peeled and diced
  • ¼ cup red onion, finely diced
  • 1 firm tomato, diced
  • Hot sauce to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Combine all ingredients and serve with Tostitos scoops.

Optional but good: peeled, seeded and diced cucumber – a good substitute for the avocado – or green and/or red bell pepper. A splash of vinegar. ½ teaspoon of cumin for a zestier taste.

Note: I can no longer find canned black-eyed peas in ANY of the markets I go to (and I refuse to go to Safeway). So, I’m forced to buy a bag of BE peas and COOK them. You can use black beans instead – different but still good. And BE peas are NOT peas, rather beans.

Further note: I like this better than Samurai Caviar because I love the nutty taste of black-eyed peas. And I love cilantro (Chinese parsley). I know that cilantro is both loved and hated. It can taste like soap, and always does to a certain segment of people. They may be supertasters, with an aversion to the bitterness of coffee and the heat of chili peppers. (So glad I'm not a supertaster!)

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