New Year’s day is a time for starting with a clean slate, out with the old and in with the new. All good southerns know you need to eat black eyed peas on New Year’s day for good luck . I am fortunate that I love black eyed peas, but I know many people that hold their noses and eat a few just because you have to. Lord knows if you don’t terrible luck may be your fate and you just can’t chance that. This Black Eyed Pea Casserole is full of flavor and is a great twist on a southern classic. It is basically a meal on it’s own. Serve it with some cabbage and cornbread and you will be eating like southern queens. Plus you will be lucky and prosperous in the new year, you just can’t test fate.
Here in Louisiana we eat rice with everything so it was just natural to incorporate rice in this Black Eyed pea Casserole. We also used a lot of smoked sausage , this seriously gives a nice smoky flavor to any dish. If you have andouille available to you it would work beautifully in this recipe , if not use your favorite smoked sausage. This recipe has all of mine and my husbands favorite flavors in it. The day I made this my husband had a cheat day, he hurt himself eating this. He said this was totally cheat worthy, lol.
This casserole has a few steps but it really isn’t hard. Trust me , all the extra steps are worth it. Start off by steaming your rice. Place 2 cups of water in a saucepan and add one cup of Rice. Bring it to a boil , place the lid on the pot and turn it to low. Let the rice steam for 15-20 minutes or until all the liquid is gone. Once it is cooked just set it aside. If you have another method of cooking rice feel free to do so, just use real rice. While the rice is cooking chop your vegetables and sausage.
In a large skillet heat up olive oil , add sausage and then chopped vegetables.
While this mixture is cooking add a little water to get all the good bits off the bottom of the skillet, Once the onions are translucent you can set this ,mixture aside in a large mixing bowl.
In the same skillet brown the ground meat and add the dry seasonings. Once it is done add to the mixing bowl.
Add the drained black eyed peas, rotel tomatoes and mix well,
Mix in the cooked rice and add to a 9×13 baking dish sprayed with baking spray
Top with pepper jack cheese and then cheddar. Bake for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven
Let sit for about 15 minutes before serving