Helen Corbitt (1906–1978) an American chef and cookbook author was an instructor and managed the tearoom at the University of Texas in 1955. In 1955, after being courted by Stanley Marcus for eight years, she joined Neiman-Marcus as Director Of Food Services for the Neiman Marcus’s Zodiac Room. Texas Caviar, is a festive contribution to our Texas palate by Helen Corbitt . Legend has it that the sophisticated New Yorker, new to the state and tasked with preparing a fancy dinner using only locally grown foods, almost met her match in the humble cowpeas, which she was none too fond of.
Hoping to make them both posh and palatable, she pickled the little devils and unwittingly created one of the Lone Star State’s favorite party dishes.
This recipe is on page 13 of her cookbook under the title of Pickled Black Eyed Peas.
Here is the recipe
RECIPE: PICKLED BLACK-EYED PEAS
2 fifteen-ounce cans cooked black-eyed peas
1 cup salad oil (modern palates may prefer less oil; start with 1/4 cup and add more to taste)
1/4 cup wine vinegar or more, to taste
1 whole garlic clove
1/4 cup thinly sliced onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
cracked or freshly ground black pepper
Drain liquid from the peas. Place peas in a bowl, add remaining ingredients, and mix thoroughly. Store in a glass jar in refrigerator and remove garlic bud after one day. Store at least two days and up to two weeks before eating. You’ll need a plate and fork for these.
The vintage cookbook above, copyright 1957, is currently for sale on my Etsy shop.
You can find it by clicking onto this link