black-eyed pea croquettes with tomatillo salsa and spicy tofu cream sauce

by Stevie on March 22, 2011

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This recipe was a last-ditch effort to improve my mood after a freezer thawing disaster. We had a large container filled with what I thought were pinto beans. I put them out overnight only to realize in the morning that I was mistaken. The pintos, in fact, were black-eyed peas.

black-eyed pea croquettes with tomatillo salsa and spicy tofu cream sauce

black-eyed pea croquettes with tomatillo salsa and spicy tofu cream sauce

Normally that would be fine. The problem was that I was still recovering from a recent black-eyed pea mishap and wasn’t sure that I was ready to face this formidable adversary again so soon. (Perhaps I’m exaggerating a little here. What actually happened was that I was making a vegan stew with black-eyed peas and I accidentally over-did it with white pepper. I’d thought that I was using about a teaspoon but my brain was clearly on stand-by. I think that I ended up throwing in about a tablespoon or maybe even more! All you could taste was white pepper. Whoa. It ruined the dish and the meal. Hegui and my friend, David, were good sports about it, but I was mortified. And unfortunately, though how could you expect otherwise, there were ample leftovers to re-live the disaster for days more to come. I’d just finished the last of the “white pepper stew” a few days before, and now black-eyed peas again. Oh, no…)

Well, Southern-style black-eyed pea stew was out. But what else can you make with them?

I’ve had marvelous croquettes cooked with dendê oil then filled with shellfish once before in Brazil. That was too ambitious, but I thought that perhaps I was onto something.

Earlier that week, I’d read an exciting recipe for spicy tofu cream sauce on The Tomato Tart. Sabrina’s trying to go vegan right now. This was her awesome suggestion for a sort of spicy alternative to sour cream or dairy-based sauces for soft tacos. The recipe is a snap and tasted very, very good. Follow the link to her blog if you want to try it.

They’re lots of recipes for black-eyed pea croquettes. Here’s one, and another and another; and finally, one more. I sort of blended a few together based upon the ingredients that I had on hand, mostly following the first, from Vegetarian Times.

Inspired by Sabrina’s diet, I went veggie on these (I used egg to help it stick together). They’re more like patties than anything else, so would undoubtedly be great on sandwiches, sort of burger-style. We had ours with Sabrina’s “cream sauce” and homemade tomatillo salsa, which I prepared that same day. Yum!

black-eyed pea croquettes

2 to 3 cups cooked unseasoned black-eyed peas
4 cups panko bread crumbs
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
1 onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 large can tomatoes, diced with juice
1 tsp prepared garlic chili sauce
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 scallions, sliced fine
½ cup cilantro, chopped fine
2 eggs, beaten
flour for dusting
olive oil for pan-frying

Start by sautéing onion in some olive oil until translucent. Avoid burning. Add minced garlic, garlic chili sauce, vinegar, salt and black pepper. Sauté a minute more then add tomatoes with juice. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer, covered, for about twenty minutes.

Add black-eyed peas to tomato sauce. Adjust flavors. Remove from heat to a large bowl. Purée half of bean mixture and return to bowl. Mix in cilantro and scallion; then egg and breadcrumbs. It should be moist but not too runny. Adjust with more breadcrumbs (or water if too dry.)

Form into patties and dust with flour.

Heat large skillet. Add olive oil and sauté patties for a few minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels. Serve hot with spicy tofu cream sauce and tomatillo salsa.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

LeQuan March 22, 2011 at 8:24 am

Oh no! Sorry to hear about your pepper mishap 🙁
Sometimes my mind drifts off while cooking and I do that too. Then if it’s really unbearable to eat, I use the stew or soup or whatever I’ve messed up (I say whatever b/c there’s been many mess ups, but shhh… teehee) as a sauce on my rice so the rice will hopefully bland out the taste. Things we do to not waste eh? <— (yes, I'm Canadian haha) I've never had black-eyed pea croquettes before, but this sounds wonderful. Must try this some time. I really need to venture out from my usual Asian cooking more. Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe. Hope the freezer thing is under control now.
LeQuan recently posted..A Packed WeekendMy Profile

Heavenly Housewife March 22, 2011 at 8:39 am

I’ve lived here for 3 years, and I’ve never thawed my freezer LOL. Theres always too much stuff in there (I love Costco LOL). At least at the end of all that frustration you have those delicious croquettes to comfort you.
*kisses* HH

Shelley March 22, 2011 at 1:41 pm

Black eyed pea croquettes sound lovely to me! Sorry about the previous pea fiasco. Aren’t you a trooper though, for finishing the left overs? I almost didn’t like croquettes as the first time I tried them, they were nasty and mushy. Sigh. My house Mother when I studied in Spain was not the best of cooks and she served us her gross croquettes at least weekly. I’ve since had much better croquettes and so they have been redeemed in my eyes.
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Lawyer Loves Lunch March 23, 2011 at 10:29 am

I’m a fan of pan fried anything, especially when covered in panko. And the tomatillo salsa reminds me of Texas in the best possible way! 🙂

Erica March 23, 2011 at 12:57 pm

These croquettes sound delicious…I Love the flavors!!!

Devaki @ March 23, 2011 at 3:32 pm

The white pepper mishap eh?? I just had a ‘dried garlic powder mishap’ recently where the entire jar empiied itself in my soup…yuck!

The dixie chick in me is thoroughly impressed with your oh so gourmet take on what could have been a jazzed up version of stewed black eyed peas! And I do like croquettes – far too much so this here rocks! Your spicy tofu cream takes it up several notches.

BTW – your paneer makhai has me droooling….what would I do without my trusty paneer…lol….

chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors
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Stevie March 29, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Erica, they were sublime! You should try them sometime. Thanks for visiting our blog!

Stevie March 29, 2011 at 6:20 pm


I hear that about pan fried! Thanks for visiting our blog.

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