Gridiron Grub: Texas Caviar
I screwed up! It’s true — it happens often, though I seldom admit it. But I have made a major oversight in this inaugural season of Gridiron Grub. We are here to talk about foods that fit perfectly with watching pigskin, and yet I have overlooked one of the ultimate football foods…Dip!!! I mean seriously, what the hell was I thinking? A bowl of something to slather on chips, pitas, tortillas or (gasp) veggies is almost mandatory when you invite people over for the game. Now the possibilities are endless, from standards like spinach-artichoke dip to the more inventive options that incorporate acorn squash or corn and walnut.
A few weeks ago, I began the popular P90x program to get an early start on a New Year’s Resolution. While it has proven effective I have found that 1) Tony Horton is a spandex laced devil and 2) It has really taken an effort for me to come up with new recipes and dishes that fit with the nutrition program. Because of that I wanted to stay away from the typical calorie busting dips. I also thought that since my Philadelphia Eagles beat the Dallas Cowboys, I would give the great state of Texas some props in the form of Texas caviar. Depending on where you’re from you may know it as Mississippi caviar or may have no idea what I am talking about. Texas/Mississippi caviar is a fairly common cold dip in the south. It has a ton of variations but obviously neither of those states has a plethora of sturgeon so this “caviar” actually has no roe but instead black eyed peas.
Texas Caviar Dip
3 cups black eyed peas
1 cup brown rice
1/2 cup fresh corn kernels (due to the time of year, I did have to go with the frozen)
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 medium green pepper
1 raw serrano pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 garlic clove
salt, pepper and cumin.
Place the fresh black eyed peas in a large saucepan. Cover with water, bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered until peas are soft, about 20 minutes.While the peas are cooking, also cook about a cup of brown rice so that we can add a little grain in the dip. Finely dice the onion, avocado, tomato, green pepper, serrano (you can leave the seeds in or take them out depending how hot you want the dip to be, but definitely use gloves). By this time, the peas and rice should be good to go so just drain them and let cool. Whisk all the wet ingredients separately for a quick dressing and then mix in all the chopped veggies, peas and rice. Add a little salt, pepper and cumin to your liking and that really is all there is to it.
You want to prep this the day before so all the ingredients can get nice and intimate with each other and if you have leftovers, this is epic in an omelette. Also feel free to serve with the starchy vessel of your choice but for now I’m going to stick with a few leaves of Belgian endive.
Fancy up your football feast. More Gridiron Grub on Endless Simmer:
Remixed Cuban Sandwich
Sweet Potato Pizza