I got Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking for Christmas, and I’m totally inspired. New Year’s Day traditionally requires at least one meal with black-eyed peas, so I put two and two together: black-eyed peas with some 16-bean mix for color, shrimp for flair, and a bercy sauce to push it completely over the top.
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- 16 oz dried black-eyed peas, sorted
- 8 oz dried 16-bean mix, sorted
- 1 TBS kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- 2 C celery, diced
- 1 C yellow or white onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced then crushed
- 1 lb pre-cooked ham, cut into 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch cubes OR sausages, cut into coins
- 1 lb shrimp, cooked (pre-cooked from the meat counter is easiest for this particular recipe)
- 2 1/2 TBS flour blended with 3 TBS softened butter to form a paste
- 1 C white wine
- 32 oz chicken stock
- ~4 quarts cool water
- 3/4 to 1 C half-and-half
- Soak, rinse, and drain (as directed) black-eyed peas and soup beans (together) as directed. Return peas and beans to boiling pot.
- Add wine, chicken stock, salt, and cayenne to the peas. Add enough water to cover the beans by about two inches, roughly 4 quarts.
- Bring pot to a boil, then simmer for 1/2 hour.
- Add celery, onion, and garlic to the pot. Bring pot back to a boil and continue simmering for another 1/2 hour.
- Add ham to the pot. Continue simmering until peas are tender but hold their shape.
- Off heat. Pour 3 C of the boiling liquid into a large saucepan and rapidly boil down the liquid until it has reduced to 1 or 1 1/2 C.
- While sauce is reducing, warm the shrimp. One option is to put the shrimp into the boiling liquid, a handful at a time, for about 20 seconds.
- Off heat, beat the flour and butter paste into the hot liquid, then 1/2 C of the half-and-half. Bring to a boil. Thin out the sauce with additional dollops of half-and-half until it coats a spoon nicely. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (This is the Bercy sauce.)
- Spoon 1 1/2 C of the cooked peas without any liquid into a wide, flat bowl. Arrange several shrimp in the center of the peas. Spoon 1 or 2 TBS of the Bercy sauce over the shrimp and serve.