Baked Beans With Salsa
|Dried cow peas/Black eyed peas||1 Pound, rinsed and picked over|
|Bacon slab||1⁄2 Pound, cut into 2 inch cubes|
|Garlic||6 Clove (30 gm), unpeeled|
|Onion||1 Medium, halved|
|Bay leaves||3 (Imported)|
|Dried hot red pepper||To Taste|
|Unsulphured molasses||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Plum tomatoes||10 , peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch chunks|
|Thinly sliced scallions||1 Cup (16 tbs)|
|Minced fresh coriander||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs) (cilantro)|
|Jalapeno peppers||2 , seeded and minced|
|Olive oil||1 Tablespoon|
|Red wine vinegar||1 Tablespoon|
|Fresh lime juice||1 Tablespoon|
|Freshly ground black pepper||1⁄2 Teaspoon|
|Cayenne pepper||To Taste|
1) In a large saucepan, place the cow peas and cover with 6 inches of water to soak overnight.
2) Alternately, bring the water to a boil, cover, remove from the heat and let stand for 1 hour.
3) Drain and rinse the beans.
4) Preheat the oven to 325°.
5) In a large heavy flameproof casserole, place beans, bacon, garlic, onion, bay leaves, hot pepper and molasses to combine.
6) Add 3 to 4 cups of water to cover, place over high heat and bring to a boil.
7) Cover the casserole and place inside the oven to bake for 4 to 5 hours, or until the beans are tender. Check every hour and add additional water if necessary.
8) If you find the beans are too watery, then boil over moderately high heat to evaporate the excess.
9) Remove and discard the bacon, onion, garlic and bay leaves.
10) In a large bowl, prepare the salsa 1 to 3 hours in advance. To prepare the salsa, add tomatoes, scallions, coriander, jalapenos, olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, oregano, cumin, salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and cayenne to taste. Combine all ingredients thoroughly.
11) Add the beans to the salsa and season with remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and more salt and cayenne to taste.
12) In a serving platter, transfer the beans and salsa mixture. Serve at room temperature.
The beans can be made up to 5 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate, but let return to room temperature before proceeding.