I am wondering if it is correct to call a dish Orange Black Eyed Pea Salad. I have not turned the black-eyed peas orange after all, but I have, however, given them a fresh orange taste with lots of chopped orange rind and the juice of fresh oranges mixed with grape seed oil. Two things I am sure is that this dish is yet another healthy, simple one to prepare at your home anytime as well as adding up to another winning dish for serving at the Tailgate, Team Family style.
The second certainty is that Black Eyed Peas are associated with Good Luck and preparing this dish twice in a week is a good food symbol for taking us into the big game ahead this weekend.
While the sports season charges forth along with the after game Tailgates, some weeks have grown so large in attendance that I have come to compare it to the bible story of the Loaves and the Fishes, for no matter how many guests, there is always enough food to feed everyone. Bless our Team Families.
The past couple of weeks we have been coordinating some of the detail particulars, including those grill focused, with the parents whose team players will return after our senior players’ graduate late next spring, a passing on of the tongs and the spatulas so to speak. This provides me the opportunity to try out some new additional salad type items to see how they go over with the crowds including today’s dish that I served atop of fresh kale chopped into very small bite size pieces dressed with a fresh juiced orange and grape seed oil, the same as I dressed the Black Eyed Pea Salad in the assembly.
These type of salads and dishes are simple, displayed with an appetizing eye, but not artistic ornate, they need to transport easily from one place to the next and still hold up on flavors at the time of serving some hours later.
Generally, I am busy in the set-up before the Tailgate begins and then at the grill area during the Tailgate. Last weekend was a special treat as it was the first time in quite a long while that I actually walked through the Tailgate line and got something to eat, that is, while there was still food on the table.
While the temperatures rose higher as the game went on and into the Tailgate, still it was comfortable enough to enjoy some of the Crock Pot Dishes beginning now to appear on the table, and listen in while the moms chatted eagerly on preparing upcoming selections of comfort foods that the crock-pots and other warming devices enable.
It has been interesting to observe over the years foods that consistently work best and some of the top favorites on the Tailgate Table. New dishes, particularly those healthful or ethnic, are enthusiastically welcomed and depending on the ingredients generally go over well. I always admire those Tailgate Moms willing to try something new. I view it as a taste testing, sometimes dishes grab the attention of the group and are completely wiped out in quick time, other dishes may need a couple tries. Some considerations in offering new dishes include the outside temperature and types of foods more people are inclined to eat at the time and even the positioning of the dish in the order of the Tailgate Table.
With or without the current Grilling enthusiasm sweeping the country, along with the quest for the new exotic and different, truth is, from the team to supporters most everyone loves plain ole’ homemade juicy burgers on rolls topped with a slice of cheese, and almost every week burgers are included in the grill line-up included among any other gourmet or interesting grill specialties created for the weekend games.
Besides homemade grilled burgers, there are those dishes, probably not unlike in your own home kitchen, favorites that everyone loves and desires prepared over and again. Over these past four seasons, two specialty dishes weekly embraced the Tailgate Table including a lightly dressed Spinach or Baby Greens Salad with sliced fresh strawberries, and a Tarragon Chicken Salad prepared by a graduated players Mom. In the fall, Pulled Pork, depending on the intricacies of the day’s specialist (different states seem to prepare with some predominant ingredients more so than those from other states) most always empties a filled crock-pot eagerly spooned onto plates.
The versatility of many foods lends well to the Tailgate Table, from the weekly mainstays, to adding in some new techniques and blending quality ingredients thoughtfully together in flavorful measure like today’s Good Luck Orange Black Eyed Pea Salad. Added in with some team spirit and a lot of love, the parts of the mixture all combined deliver what Tailgate, Team Family style, is all about. Go Team.
- 1 16 ounce bag dried black eyed peas, sifted through for any pebbles or residuals, rinsed
- 1 medium onion, cut in half, skin on
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 large or 2 small whole cinnamon sticks
- cooked black eyed peas
- 1 1/2 shallots, minced
- 2-3 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2-3 celery stalks, strings removed, chopped
- 2-3 tablespoons, orange rind, chopped
- juice from 1 orange
- 1/8 cup grape seed oil
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt or more according to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 1 bunch fresh kale, washed, large stems removed, then sliced down the center and chopped into small bite size pieces
- juice from 1 orange
- 1/8 cup grape seed oil
- For the Black Eyed Peas
- Into a large stock pot add black eyed peas, cover with cold water, and let sit overnight. Drain black eyed peas, rinse pot, and return peas covering with cold water covering about about two inches over. Drop in the cut onion, cinnamon sticks, and bay leaves. Cook until boiling then reduce temperature to medium low heat for about an hour or an hour and a half until peas are tender through but not mushy. Drain black eyed peas then transfer them to a long glass dish spreading evenly across and refrigerate until cool or ready to assemble salad.
- Before assembling salad add one tablespoon of kosher salt to the black eyed peas and stir well throughout. One ingredient at a time stir in the shallots, carrots, celery, and finally the orange rind. Mix the juice of one orange with 1/8 cup of grape seed oil, whisk, then pour evenly into the salad, add pepper, stir well. Check seasonings adding in a little more salt and pepper according to taste.
- Whisk together the juice of one orange with 1/8 cup of grape seed oil then pour over kale and stir well so that the dressing mixes into the crevices and throughout the kale.
- Line serving tray with dressed kale then top with the assembled black bean salad
- For Tailgating, assemble the Black Eyed Pea Salad before travel leaving a small amount of the dressing in a spill free container to freshen up salad before serving. Travel with kale undressed until serving time dressing just before lining onto serving tray and topping with Black Eyed Pea Salad