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      RECIPE TITLE "The Absolute Best Southern Fried Chicken" recipe from Sylvia's Family Soul Food Cookbook: From Hemingway, South Carolina, To Harlem , copyright c 1999 by Sylvia Woods. All rights reserved.

    yieldsserves 4 time---difficultymoderate

    Black-eyed peas have always been a part of our history and an important ingredient in soul food. In fact, when someone asks me what soul food is, I always name black-eyed peas first, along with collard greens, fried chicken, and barbecue.

    Black-eyed peas originated in Asia and made their way to the West Indies and throughout the South, where they flourished in the warm fields.

    When I was growing up, we ate black-eyed peas mostly in the winter. We always bought them dried, since they didn't grow plentifully in our fields as field peas and cow peas did. But every now and then, we'd find some black-eyed peas growing up the cornstalks with the other beans (sometimes the seeds get mixed together). Then we'd eat them fresh. This recipe is meant for the dried kind of pea, although these days it's easier to buy them already cooked in cans or frozen. Get them any way you like, but definitely make this spicy salad next time you need something to serve at a picnic or for a buffet. There's nothing better.


    • 1 1/2 cups cooked or canned black-eyed peas
    • 3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
    • 1/2 cup chopped celery
    • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
    • 1/4 cup chopped onion
    • 1/4cup vegetable oil
    • 1/4cup sugar
    • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce


    1. In a large bowl, combine the blackeyed peas, green pepper, celery, and both onions.

    2. In a small bowl, combine the oil, sugar, vinegar, garlic, salt, black pepper, and hot sauce. Pour the dressing over the beans. Toss. Let stand overnight for the flavors to meld.


    HOT! We recommend:

    Sylvia's Family Soul Food Cookbook Sylvia's Family Soul Food Cookbook Woods. From collard greens to pound cake, real soul food at its best. 125+ recipes from world-famous Harlem restaurateur.

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