Mommy's Kitchen - Recipes From my Texas Kitchen: Southern Cream Peas & Bacon

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Southern Cream Peas & Bacon

Here in the south we enjoy all sorts of peas, black eye peas, purple hull, crowder peas, and cream peas. Isn't it funny how different areas enjoy different varieties of beans and peas? There are a lot of bean varieties up North that I have never heard of. But then on the other hand there are a lot of beans here in the south that people are unaware of up North.

In the end it's all due to different climate changes. Certain beans and peas grow best in cooler climates and other thrive in the heat of the deep south. All the peas that I love are here in the south because that's what I have access to. I would love to try different varieties, but we just don't find them here in Texas.

Last weekend when we visited the peach orchard I found some (Southern) Lady Cream Peas. Can you believe I have never had cream peas. Well maybe I have and I just don't remember, but I do know I have never cooked them. I wanted to buy some but then I wasn't sure how they tasted.

I stopped one of the ladies that worked at the orchard store and asked. What are cream peas? She said they were similar to purple hull peas but much creamier and softer in taste. I said OK do you prepare them the same way? she said yep just like any good ole southern pea. I couldn't decide if I wanted a package or not.

You see all I had on my mind was moonshine syrup. That's what I came to the orchard for besides some veggies and fresh peaches.  I really needed to replenish my stock at home since I was only down to one jar. Well unfortunately they were out, so I need to make a trip back later this week.
While I was checking out the same lady came up and asked me if i bought some of those cream peas. I told her I had forgotten about them, but I would be returning to the store later in the week and I could get them then. She said hold on. I had already paid for all my items and I turned around and she stuck a bag of those peas in my sack. 

She told me here is a little treat for you on the house. Goodness, I told her thank you and that she didn't have to do that. She said yes I did because you gotta try them I guarantee your gonna love em.Well she was right I do love them. In fact I think i love them more than purple hull peas. They have a creamy taste but the beans are firmer and not mushy.

I prepared them the same way I cook my purple hull peas. With lots of onions, garlic and bacon. If you have access to Cream Peas then you really need to pick some up because they are so good. You can find fresh peas as just about any farmers market in the summer.

I always rinse my fresh peas after I remove them from the package.

add the chopped bacon, onion and garlic to a large pan. Cook until the bacon starts to render some fat and the onions are translucent.

add the peas

and cover with water to at least a 1/2 inch above the peas. Add the salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of chicken bouillon powder (I use Maggie). Bring the peas to a boil (skimming off any foam that forms)  then reduce the heat and simmer until the peas are tender but still just a tiny bit firm. 

Season with additional salt and pepper and serve.

Southern Cream Peas

1 lb - fresh shelled cream peas
3-4 - slices of bacon, chopped
1 - small to medium onion, chopped
1 - clove garlic, minced
water (enough to cover peas)
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 - teaspoon chicken bouillon powder (I use Maggie) 

Rinse the fresh peas and then add to a large pot. Add the chopped bacon, onion and garlic. Cook until the bacon starts to render some fat and the onions are translucent. 

Add the peas and enough water to cover the peas. Add the salt, pepper, and the chicken bouillon powder (I use Maggie). 

Bring the peas to a boil (skimming off any foam that forms), reduce the heat and simmer until the peas are tender but still just a tiny bit firm. About a hour to a hour and a half. 

When the peas are done place in a serving bowl and add additional salt and pepper if needed.

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Gooseberry Patch said... #

We've never even heard of cream peas but we'll keep an eye out for them at the market...thanks for another yummy-sounding recipe, Tina! :)

truelifeofjess said... #

Quick Question. I live in Grand Prairie and was wondering where the peach orchard is. I am new to the area. I am so looking forward to this recipe. Thanks

Mommy's Kitchen said... #

Hi jess the peach orchard is in Terrell. Here is the link to the orchard with directions.

Hams Orchard

nancy huggins said... #

We live in AL and they have never heard of cream peas..Maybe I can try the recipe with a different peas....they sound yummy

Mary at Deep South Dish said... #

Oh Tina! Thanks for posting these lovely little jewels. We call them Lady Cream Peas and I haven't had them in ages. And to have access to them at an orchard store - wow!! We can get Camellia brand down here, in a bag at the grocery market LOL - well, at least we used to could anyways. You did them right too, keep it simple and let the peas speak for themselves!! I just LOVE them!!

Julie M. said... #

I lived in the Dallas area for six years and haven't heard of those (or some of the others you mentioned)! They look really good though. I wonder if I could find them here in charlotte?

Lisa said... #

That looks soooo good!

Mommy's Kitchen said... #

Hey Julie you can find the fresh peas at local farmers markets. Sometimes we find them on the side of the road at road side stands. Maybe that it why you couldnt find them in Dallas. I see them all over.

DessertForTwo said... #

I just found your site through Tasty Kitchen and I am in love! I'm a North Texas girl too! I'm so excited to dig through your recipe collections :)

Dora Renee' Wilkerson said... #

Looks yummy!

Rachel said... #

I love Cream Peas!!!! This is a GREAT recipe for them!

melodygreen said... #

Thanks! Tried this recipe tonight after buying cream peas from the Farmer's Market and it was SO good! :) I'll definitely be back to find more recipes!

Tricia W said... #

I made the Southern Cream Peas & Bacon last night and they were delicious. With Pioneer Woman's Cornbread we had a wonderful meal. When we asked at the Farmers Market how to cook them they just looked at us and said like you do other beans, so they were just sitting in the fridge. I've cooked dried beans and can beans not fresh. So glad I came across your recipe. Thanks for posting.

Tina Forester said... #

I live in Waller, TX and have been enjoying these for years. Recently, I found them at HEB - oh happy day!

BroBill said... #

Found the Cream Peas at the Lewisville Farmer's Market, Lewisville, TX, last weekend, 08/14/2010 They are great peas to eat.

NCope04 said... #

I have found cream peas in the past two weeks at roadside stands in both Lulling (South Texas) and Alto (East Texas) They are the best! I wish we had bought more!

Karen said... #

Tina, I made your Southern Cream Peas today to go along with buttermilk mashed potatoes and pork chops. The recipe was so easy to follow and was delicious! I am an older mom (both kids are grown) and I love finding new recipes like this one! Thank you for sharing your love of cooking with us!

Anonymous said... #

Thanks so so so much. I was at that store (I am pretty certain) a few days ago and got a bag of cream peas without knowing what to do with them. Truthfully I am enjoying them fresh and uncooked , but be sure to know they will be on the menu for dinner tonight.

SJFerrell said... #

Hi Tina! My mother-in-law picked up (and shared with me) several bags of fresh creamed peas from Cosper’s Country Meat Market in Killeen, TX. I borrowed your recipe and made them for a 4th of July Fish Fry. They were absolutely AWESOME! Thank you SO much for sharing! -Sherri

Ann-Tx said... #

Thank you for your recipe! I am cooking some Ladies Cream Peas now!

My mom would use to fix cream peas from our garden . . . back in the day! I love them!

For those near the Hempstead, Tx area, DiIorios Roadside Market in Hempstead have fresh hulled cream peas (2 varieties). I bought the Ladies Cream Peas. They also have them frozen. I bought several packages of frozen peas too.

They only have these when they are in season which is now! So stock up!

Also, they have fresh black-eyed, purple hull, butter beans, etc.

Martha said... #

Love reading about your experience at the peach orchard! One question - do I cover the peas while they cook? I love your site - thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said... #

I have lived in North Texas for over 30 years and found long ago that cream peas are similar to the Acre peas found in South Georgia, where I'm originally from. Cream peas are a little larger, but have a similar flavor. I find them in my area quite often, even in the freezer section of the groc. store. I also recommend the Weatherford peaches. It's worth a trip over there to go to their farmer's market.

Tori C. said... #

These were great! I subbed in a cup of chicken broth in place of a portion of the water. Thanks for the recipe!

Kirk Yoshida said... #

I bought cream peas for risotto because the store was out of english peas. I just boiled them in salt and pepper and added it to the risotto at the end it works just as well. I like the taste so much, I am going to try to serve them on their own at Thansgiving.

Anonymous said... #

Find lady cream peas at the Dallas farmer market. Our family favorite!!

Anonymous said... #

I live in Magnolia, Tx. I got my lady cream pea's from Canino's Farmers Market in Houston. I fried a little salt pork and 2 pieces or bacon and added okra. I don't like okra but it gives the peas more flavor

Anonymous said... #

We grow them here in GA and this is the best pea to grow/eat, does well here (hot/hunid). I've eaten these (or acre peas) all my life, it doesn't get any better.
Tip:Throw a hot pepper (raw/whole) and small whole okra (cook okra untile done) in while cooking, gives them a really good flavor.

Anonymous said... #

Just bought cream peas today at the Pearl Brewery Farmers Market in San Antonio. I'm going to try your recipe tonight, but I am going to use a ham hock instead of bacon, like I do in my red beans and rice. Can't wait to try them!

Anonymous said... #

I live in Magnolia tx too HEB in Tomball jas them.

Teri said... #

Just back from the Dallas Farmers Market and purchased fresh creamed peas - also selling purple hull, black-eye and butter beans!!! Love the produce which thrive in the Texas summers!

Anonymous said... #

Should the cream peas smell. Mine smell when I started cooking them.

loretta Humble said... #

I love them. And I find them frozen in Brookshire's. Just about as good as fresh.

Elizabeth Trammel said... #

We bought creamello peas from a farmer in South Alabama. They really are special!

Anonymous said... #

As a Southern girl, I have known these peas as "field peas" all my life. Field peas and rice was my favorite dish growing up. I wish I'd paid closer attention to how my mother cooked them as I never get it quite right. I'll try this recipe and see how it turns out. She used a pressure cooker. I remember spending hours shelling these!

Anonymous said... #

Thank you so much. I live 35 miles south of S.A. and was wondering where to get cream peas.

Anonymous said... #

I live near cleburne, tx. Love these peas i get every year in Weatherford, tx farmers market near courthouse square. Summertime peas, yummy!

Glitter said... #

Just put on some cream peas that I bought yesterday at Central Market in Dallas. I am using salt pork, like my grandmother would have. I will serve it with Hatch cornbread rolls that I got at Central Market.

classylady1 said... #

I am from the South. These are the best peas I have ever tasted. I use this same recipe but add a little real butter. Yummy !

CP said... #

In NW Florida (at least in my family) we call them Zipper Cream Peas - no idea why! ;) No matter what you call them, they are GREAT and this recipe sounds like it would make them even better! Thanks!!

Nancy said... #

Hams Orchard us between Terrell and Wills Point....clses August 15th and is closed Sundays.

marlamedina said... #

I buy them every summer at the Rosemeade Market in Carrollton, TX.

CKO said... #

When cream peas are in season in the Dallas area, you can always find them at Cox Farms.....either the Duncanville or the Sylvan/Thirty locations. Thanks for the great cooking method!

BlueMagnolias said... #

To Nancy Huggins- I live in Birmingham AL- I had never hear of cream peas either- but I was looking for fresh green peas and ran across crea peas instead at the Whole Foods in Mountain Bro
ok in Hwy 280- it must be a rare find because I do not remember seeing them before.

Anonymous said... #

Found the cream peas in Pleasanto, Tx (we are South of San Antonio) at HEB, they are so good!!

NavyEmily said... #

Also, P6 Farms has them in Montgomery, Tx!

Unknown said... #

I found fresh creamed peas and purple hull at Greens produce and plants in Arlington Tx. Awesome place.