Adrienne Cheatham shares this delicious black-eyed pea snack, crunchy hoppin’ john bhel puri, in her new cookbook Sunday Best: Cooking Up the Weekend Spirit Every Day. This flavorful snack mix is equally inspired by the Southern side dish hoppin’ john and the South Asian snack bhel puri, which Cheatham learned about from her Top Chef castmate Fatima Ali.
A combination of puffed rice, vermicelli noodles, spices, and more, it’s the perfect canvas for one of her go-to ingredients: oven-roasted black-eyed peas.
Supremely crunchy, salty, and savory, she always keeps at least a pint container of them on hand in her pantry. Besides playing a starring role in this recipe, they’re awesome for adding to salads, soups, or simply eating as is!
Makes 3 cups
2 cups cooked black-eyed peas (canned or homemade), drained
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
1 medium sweet potato, dieced small
2 celery stalks, diced small
1½ cups cherry tomatoes, quartered
5 sprigs of cilantro, leaves and stems, chopped
2 scallions, white and green parts thinly sliced
2 cups unsweetened puff rice
¼ cup roasted salted peanuts, lightly crushed
1 cup sev (a thin, crispy noodle found in Indian markets; substitute chow mein noodles in a pinch)
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 tablesppons pepper jelly
2 tablespoons sweet relish
2 tablespoons Major Grey’s chutney (or more pepper jelly)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, stir together black-eyed peas, oil, and Creole seasoning to coat. Pour onto prepared baking sheet and spread in an even layer. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees, give the black-eyed peas a stir, and continue baking for 10 minutes more. Test one of the beans to see if it is dried out all the way through. If not, give another stir and continue backing they are dried and crunchy, 5 minutes more. Cool completely.
- While black-eyed peas are cooking, put diced sweet potato in a medium pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until just tender, 7 to 10 minutes. Drain, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to cool completely, then place in a large bowl.
- When ready to serve, add crispy black-eyed peas, puffed rice, peanuts, and sev to the bowl and stir to combine. Stir in paprika, cayenne, pepper jelly, relish, and chutney. Taste and adjust to seasoning as needed. Serve immediately as a great drinking snack, accompanied by anything from beer to Champagne
From the book SUNDAY BEST: Cooking Up the Weekend Spirit Every Day by Adrienne Cheatham with Sarah Zorn. Copyright © 2022 by Adrienne Cheatham. Photographs copyright © 2022 by Kelly Marshall. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.
- Recipe by Adrienne Cheatham, Sunday Best: Cooking Up the Weekend Spirit Every Day (Clarkson Potter/Publishers) Copyright ©2022