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Creole Crowder Peas
This is not a side dish you would make during the work week. It takes too much time.  With a few simple modifications, you could use canned or frozen crowder peas, and still get good results. To cut back on fat calories, decrease the amount of bacon used and/or use meatless bacon. Actually, paired with rice, this also makes a fine main dish meal.

(Prep Time: More than 2 hours. Serves 8)

2 cups dried crowder or blackeye peas
2 cups water
3 cups chicken broth, low sodium, defatted
2 cups canned crushed tomatoes, no salt added
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 teaspoons minced garlic
½ teaspoon dry mustard
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 bay leaf
½ lb. pork bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled (garnish)
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped (garnish)

Place the crowder peas in a medium saucepan. Cover with 2 cups of water, bring to boil for 2 minutes, cover, remove from heat and let stand for 1 hour. Drain the soaking liquid. Add the chicken broth, tomatoes with juice, onion, celery, garlic, mustard, cayenne pepper and bay leaf. Stir together, bring to a boil, cover again, reduce heat and simmer slowly for 2 hours. Stir occasionally and add water to keep the peas covered with liquid. Remove the bay leaf, pour into a serving bowl and garnish with bacon bits and/or parsley. (Raw, chopped onion also may be used.)

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