I strolled out of the bedroom dressed in my "sexiest" cleaning attire (i.e. disgusting t-shirt and messy ponytail), only to find a handful of his football—and food—loving friends camped out on the couch, ready for some NFL playoff action. I immediately switched into hostess mode (at this point, it's practically reflex) and headed straight to the kitchen. Even though the boys insisted I shouldn't fret over them, I just can't seem to help myself.
Unfortunately I am still recovering from the holidays, so my pantry is a wasteland. That said, I gave it my best shot. I mashed up some black-eyed peas (I always have black-eyed peas) along with a handful of other ingredients, threw it in the oven, and prayed for the best. I warned the guys not to expect much, but I was shocked and excited when they all sung it the highest praise. It was a total hit!
I am a dip fanatic, so I love adding new recipes to my entertaining arsenal. This one just skyrocketed to the top of my list! I've recreated it here so you can add it to your repertoire, too. The best part, though, is that it's open to improv. Feel free to use what you have on hand and make it your own. Happy tailgating!
Cheesy Baked Black-Eyed Pea Dip
2 (15 1/2 ounce) cans black-eyed peas, drained (about 3 cups)
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne, or more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese, divided (cheddar, pepper Jack, or Mexican blend)
Tortilla chips, to serve
Salsa, to serve
Sour cream, to serve
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a large bowl, roughly crush the black-eyed peas using a potato masher. Add the cream cheese, jalapeño, garlic powder, salt, Tabasco, cayenne, and black pepper, and stir to combine. Fold in one cup of the shredded cheese.
Transfer the black-eyed pea mixture to an small oven-proof baking dish (like a pie plate or large ramekin). Top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and bake until the dip is hot and the cheese melted, about 25 minutes.
Serve with tortilla chips, salsa, and sour cream.
(Images: Nealey Dozier)