Field Pea Pilau
5 medium tomatoes (about 2½ lbs.), cored
1 Tbs. canola oil
2 cups diced onion
1 cup diced green bell pepper
1 cup diced celery
2 Tbs. sliced garlic
1 Tbs. kosher salt
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. freshly ground white pepper
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
Pinch of cayenne
1/2 cup tomato paste
20 sprigs fresh thyme, tied in a bundle with kitchen twine
1 bay leaf
1 lb. cooked shrimp or roast chicken, optional
1½ cups cooked lady peas or pink-eyed peas (find recipe for cooking field peas online)
3 cups steamed rice
1/2 lb. sliced bacon, cooked until crispy and then crumbled
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Have a bowl of ice water nearby. Score the end of each tomato with an X and drop them into the boiling water. Cook until skin just begins to pull back, one to two minutes. Remove from pot and submerge in the bowl of ice water. Once cool, peel the skin off and cut the tomatoes into quarters.
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, peppers, celery, and garlic. Cook, stirring, until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the salt, oregano, black pepper, white pepper, red pepper flakes, and cayenne and stir to thoroughly combine. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, thyme, and bay leaf and stir to thoroughly combine. Cover the pot. Reduce the heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce comes together, about one hour. Add optional shrimp or chicken.
Add the field peas and cook until hot through. Discard the thyme and bay leaf before serving. Serve over rice (about 1/2-cup per dish) and garnish with crumbled bacon.