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I first tasted Texas Caviar shortly after I moved upstate, 5 years ago now, at a party with Ben’s work friends. I found it completely addictive and piled my plate with heaps of the bean-y salsa, but feeling too shy to ask the host for the recipe, I went home and googled for it.
I soon learned why I loved it so much: sugar! Texas Caviar, I learned, traditionally is very, very sweet. Every recipe I found also called for canned beans, canned corn, and often canned chilies.
Deterred by the sugar and the cans, I mostly forgot about the salsa, also called Cowboy Caviar, until very recently when I tasted it again at a friend’s house and once again found it completely delicious. Feeling less shy, I asked for the recipe, and immediately learned, once again, why I loved it so much: sugar!
I wanted to give the recipe a go, cutting the sugar way back, and cooking the beans from scratch. I did some research online and read that black eyed peas in stovetop pressure cookers require no soaking and cook in five to six minutes. Five to six minutes! Black beans, I read, similarly require no soaking and cook in about 25 minutes.
It was time to give bean cooking a go in the DUROMATIC® Pressure Cooker— ** This post is sponsored by Kuhn Rikon: thank you for the support **.
As noted last week, the Duromatic is a stovetop pressure cooker made by Kuhn Rikon with Milk Street’s Christopher Kimball. Last week I used the Duromatic to make Marcella Hazan’s tomato sauce, which I used in one of my favorite summer recipes: eggplant involtini with homemade ricotta and parmesan.
Friends, I am astonished by how quickly and perfectly the beans are cooking up in the Duromatic. Bean cooking can feel like a chore or something not suited for weeknight cooking, but I wouldn’t hesitate to cook beans now any night of the week.
Also, I am finding I like Texas Caviar just as well with very little sugar. For one, the peppers, onions, and corn—I’m using fresh, raw corn here—are all so sweet right now, rendering additional sugar hardly necessary. Second, for me at least, more than sweetness, it’s all about a lot of acid in these sorts of bean-y dips. I’ve used both vinegar and fresh lime juice in this less authentic take on the salsa, which I’ve been spooning over scrambled eggs, tucking into burritos with rice and cheese, and, of course, piling atop tortilla chips.
Here are a few more details about the Duromatic pressure cooker:
• Manufactured in Switzerland
• Energy efficient: up to 70% energy saving
• Fast: up to 70% reduction in cooking time
• Healthy: retains vitamins and minerals
• High-quality 18/10 stainless steel
• Suitable for all cooktops: induction, gas, ceran, cast, electric, halogen
• Superthermic® Sandwich base engineered for fast and even heat distribution
• Three separate safety features and automatic lid lock
• Pressure indicator with integrated 2-level overpressure valve
Texas Caviar ingredients:
To cook black eyed peas…
…place them in the pressure cooker with water and salt.
Close the lid, bring it to high pressure over high heat.
In 3 to 4 minutes, you will see two red lines. You’ll also hear a loud hissing sound, which will be your signal to turn the heat down to low. Cook at this level for five minutes; then turn off the heat and let the valve release naturally, which will take about 15 minutes.
Remove the lid to find your cooked black eyed peas.
Drain the black eyed peas. Repeat with black beans, cooking the black beans for 25 minutes.
Transfer cooked beans to a large bowl.
Chop up your vegetables and herbs.
Add them to the bowl.
Add dressing, a mix of olive oil, vinegar, salt, and sugar.
Add fresh lime.
Grab some chips.
I cooked both the black beans and the black-eyed peas in my pressure cooker. Incredibly, no soaking is required here, and the beans cook up quickly and perfectly: once the pressure cooker comes to pressure, the black eyed peas cook for 5 minutes, the black beans for 25 minutes.
- Texas Caviar traditionally is very sweet. I’ve cut the sugar back from 1/2 cup to 2 teaspoons, but honestly I think I’d like it just as well with no sugar at all. I’ve offered starting measurements for the oil, vinegar, and sugar, but dress these beans to taste: add more sugar if you like; add more vinegar and fresh lime, too, if you like acidity (beans do!); and more oil if necessary.
- 1 cup of dried beans will yield about 2.5 cups cooked, which is the amount you’ll need for each bean here, but know that you can cook more than 1 cup of beans at a time. Beans freeze beautifully. Store them in their cooking liquid.
for the beans:
- 1 cup dried black beans
- 1 cup dried black-eyed peas
- kosher salt
for the Texas Caviar:
- 2 heaping cups cooked black beans
- 2 heaping cups cooked black eyed peas
- 1 large red onion, finely diced to yield 2 cups (or more or less)
- 2 ears corn, shucked, kernels removed
- 2 to 3 red (or other) bell peppers, finely diced
- 6 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts
- 1 –2 jalapeños, finely chopped
- 1 large bunch cilantro, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more to taste
- 1/2 cup vinegar, such as apple cider, white balsamic or red wine, plus more to taste
- 2 teaspoons sugar, optional, plus more or less to taste
- juice of one lime, plus more to taste
- tortilla chips, for serving, I love the Xochitl brand
- Cook the black beans: Place the beans along with 4 cups water and a teaspoon of kosher salt into the your stovetop pressure cooker. Close the lid. Turn the heat to high. When the two red lines of the valve are visible, reduce heat to low—the valve should drop to reveal only 1 line but it’s OK if it does not—and cook for 25 minutes. Turn off the heat. Let valve release naturally, which should take between 15-20 minutes. Remove lid. Taste a bean to ensure it is cooked through. If it is not, simmer until it is. If using the beans immediately, drain and set aside; if not, store the beans in their cooking liquid.
- Cook the black eyed peas: Place the beans along with 4 cups water and a teaspoon of kosher salt into the your stovetop pressure cooker. Close the lid. Turn the heat to high. When the two red lines of the valve are visible, reduce heat to low—the valve should drop to reveal only 1 line but it’s OK if it does not—and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat. Let valve release naturally, which should take between 15 minutes. Remove lid. Taste a bean to ensure it is cooked through. If it is not, simmer until it is cooked. If using the beans immediately, drain and set aside; if not, store the beans in their cooking liquid.
- Make the Texas Caviar: Transfer cooked beans to a large bowl. Add all of the vegetables and herbs. Season with 2 teaspoons kosher salt. In a small bowl, stir together the olive oil, vinegar, and sugar if using. Pour dressing into bowl of beans and vegetables. Add the lime juice. Toss to combine. Taste. Add more salt by the 1/2 or full teaspoon. Add more vinegar — I always do — 2 to 4 tablespoons at a time. Add more fresh lime for more acidity and brightness. Add more sugar if you wish. Once you have your seasonings right, serve the caviar with chips or spoon over scrambled eggs or tuck into a burrito.
- Prep Time: 1 hour
- Cook Time: 35
- Category: Salsa
- Method: Toss
- Cuisine: Tex-Mex
Keywords: Texas, caviar, salsa, beans, black beans, black eyed peas, corn, low-sugar