Chitlins, I’m going to share with you one of my dirty secrets. My favorite recipe isn’t really a recipe at all, because there are only two ingredients. But I’m going to share it with you, because it could possibly change your life. It includes two of my favorite foods in the whole world: Bacon. And peas.
I am a strong believer in the wisdom that bacon makes everything taste better. Lousy turkey sandwich? Add a slice of bacon (and some whole grain mustard) and BAM instant delciousness. Are your Brussels sprouts a little softer than you expected? Add some crunchy bacon, BAM crunchy wonderfulness. Salads, pasta, macaroni and cheese, even baked goods are better with bacon. If there was a Baconism religion, I’d be the Popette. I adore bacon on an unholy level.
Now my love of peas came later and I can honestly tell you I haven’t the foggiest idea when I started loving them, it just kind of happened one day. I only know that if there are fresh peas at the farmer’s market or the vegetable stand, you can bet your tuckus I’m spending all the cash in my wallet on pounds of peas. Frozen peas I don’t like as much, but I’m still holding out hope that I just haven’t found the right brand yet. But if there are fresh peas, I’ve been known to buy at least 2-5lbs of them, two pounds minimum. Yeah, that’s how much I love fresh peas.
I started making this snack, because it’s really more of a snack than a proper meal, though I’ve been known to eat bowls of it for dinner anyway, about a year and a half ago. I would frequently show up at The BF’s apartment with nothing but a giant Tupperware full of bacon and peas. It absolutely boggled The BF’s mind. In his view, I had just ruined some perfectly good bacon with weird green little balls.
He dubbed the dish “Shibbles,” which I think came out of some kind of Kibbles ‘n’ Bits joke, but I’m not entirely certain. He would joke, “Woman make me my shibbles the way I like ‘em. WITHOUT the peas!” and then he’d laugh hysterically to himself like he had just made the funniest joke in the world. It still amuses him. Anyway, if you’re in the mood for some unholy, unhealthy goodness I highly recommend you make some shibbles. It’s fast, easy and tastes like heaven.
Now, my mother has told me that I had written such eloquent prose on the deliciousness of Brussels sprouts, I had convinced a friend of hers they would taste like candy. She excitedly cooked Brussels sprouts for her family, for their first time ever and lo and behold, no one liked Brussels sprouts. So let me give you fair warning: if you do not like peas, I can guarantee you that drowning them in bacon grease and adding crispy bits of bacon is not going to make you like them anymore. They still taste like peas. The BF is a testament to this. Your peas will not magically turn into bacon candy, you’ll just have slightly pea flavored bacon instead. Which is exactly what I wanted.
2 pounds fresh peas, shelled or 1 package frozen peas, thawed
5 strips of bacon, or more (don’t use turkey bacon, it doesn’t give off enough grease, I warned you this was unhealthy)
pepper to taste
Cook your bacon over medium high heat until crispy. Remove the strips from the pan, and drain on a paper towel lined plate. Turn off the heat. DO NOT DUMP THE GREASE. While the bacon cooks, bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook the peas for about 5 minutes, or until just tender if fresh or follow the instructions on the frozen peas package.
When the peas have cooked, drain them and dump them right into the still hot bacon grease. Swirl the peas around with a spatula giving them all equal time to fry up a little. If you like your peas a little crispy cook them in the grease for about 10 minutes, if you want them a little more tender only cook them for about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon remove the peas to a bowl, crumble the cooked bacon on top. Toss a few times, and add some pepper. I’ve also been known to shave a little parmesan (actually Locatelli) on top, because you can never go wrong with bacon, peas AND cheese.
This dish is best served immediately after making it, when the bacon is still crisp, it looses a lot of that crunch after it’s refrigerated and reheated. However it can be kept in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days, reheat before serving.