Saturday, April 24, 2010

My rainy day adventure with Black Eyed Peas

No, not the musical group. My mom always talked about the frituritas de carita that they sold on the streets of Cuba 50 years ago. I've never had them, and I've never made them, and I figured it was about time I tried. So, I looked through my recipe book, and I found instructions for making the black eyed pea fritters that my mom talked about.  The recipe called for:

1/2 lb Dried Black-Eyed Peas rinsed in cold water, picked over and soaked overnight in cold water to cover, changing the water several times
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Black pepper
4 tbsp Water
Oil for frying
Lime juice to taste

I soaked the peas overnight as called for, then the recipe instructed that when the peas had softened, to rub off their skins. I soaked those darn things for 24 hours and they still had the consistency of peanuts. Not soft at all. Here's where everything started to go downhill. I boiled the peas for 20 minutes. As far as rubbing off their skins.... after about half an hour, I said a curse word and gave up. Then according to the instructions I placed the peas, garlic and salt and pepper in a food processor adding the water to get a smooth, thick puree. Well, I didn't really measure the water and I got a puree, but it wasn't really thick. I decided to take a break and I refrigerated the mixture.

A few hours later, I heated my 2 inches of oil in a large skillet and dropped 3 tablespoons of batter into it. Within minutes they disintegrated. This was attempt #1.
Well, obviously I did something wrong, the batter was too thin. I took half the remaining batter and as an experiment decided to add flour. Flour will absorb the excess moisture. It'll be all right. This time they held together. Barely. They just didnt' seem right. That was attempt #2

My husband came into the kitchen. What's that batter for, pancakes? Of course! I needed to add an egg. I took the second half of the batter and added an egg and flour.  Still runny, and I'm out of flour. The word pancake stuck in my head. I grabbed the Aunt Jemima. I eliminated most of the oil from the skillet and treated them as pancakes. That was attempt #3.

Well, I said two posts ago that I was going to step out of my comfort zone. I accomplished that today. Will I attempt this again? No. Do I recommend you make this? No. What do my aberrations taste like? Not bad at all. 



  1. Nice post. I love theses real life trials!

  2. And you should see what a mess I made in the kitchen! hah!

  3. Ivonne, I have never made bollitos de frijol carita (that is what they were really called by the vendors in the streets and the people who bought them at the time, but since we Cubans are so 'mal pensados', with time "bollitos" became "frituritas". My mother used to make them in a snap and they were always delicious and kind of "earthy" tasting (kind of like lentils, for lack of a better comparison; that is, if you like lentils and its "earthy" taste). I do remember they were not flat, but rather like a true small bollo (a roll; not the other kind —evil grin—). My mother used to just dump the thick batter in the hot oil and they would bubble and puff up and "tan" quickly to a beautiful deep golden brown color... By the way, how did you like the Guacamola? I never knew of this salad when we lived in Havana but when we moved to Camagüey, our neighbor two doors down, Lola, would make it and I always enjoyed it for the combination of sweet-sour of the pineapple, the nutty, buttery taste of the avocado and the mild pungency the onions produced... You should now go national with your own TV cooking show and dethrone Rachel Ray and Martha Stewart (wink). Hugs and big kisses.

  4. Pedro the "bollitos" were a disaster. What I ended up with was edible; however, since I had no idea what they were supposed to look like or taste like and considering your "earthy" description I certainly won't try it again.
    The ensalda was wonderful.

  5. The Black Eyed Peas made a lasting impression at New Year's Eve. If you missed their brief performance on New Year's Eve, you can see it again, except on a larger stage, live in 2010.

  6. I.M.

    I made Bollitos once they werent so great, you can use gram bean flour from the Indian store to make them.

    I tried making Bollitos once and hated having to peel all of them

    However my grandmother called me and said, "Cono chico I cant believed you peeled them all bobo, just grind it with everthing doesnt make much of a difference" but i still havent attempted a little paranoid.

    mine came out flat and crispy i didn't like it.