Eye Exam

A new use for Old Bay

Old Bay seasoning is typically aligned with such seminal East Coast dishes as crab and shrimp boils. However, since moving to Chicago, Zoe Schor has been able to bring a taste of her Mid-Atlantic hometown to her new position at Ada Street. In her recipe for crispy black-eyed peas, Schor uses Old Bay, turning a satisfying bar bite into something all the more snackable. Paired with a cold beer, it transported us directly to a harbor on the Chesapeake Bay.

Recipe adapted from Zoe Schor, Ada Street, Chicago

Crispy Black-Eyed Peas
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Zoe Schor makes Crispy Black-Eyed Peas.
Servings
4
servings
Ingredients
  • 3½ cups frozen black-eyed peas
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup semolina flour
  • ¼ cup Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
Directions
  1. In a fine-mesh sieve, rinse the frozen peas under hot water until they are no longer cold to the touch. Shake off the water and transfer to a medium bowl. Add the buttermilk and 1 tablespoon of the salt, stir, and set aside for 1 hour.
  2. In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, heat 2 inches of oil until it reaches 350° on a digital thermometer.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the flour, semolina, Old Bay and cayenne pepper. Drain the peas through a colander or sieve, shaking the beans to remove the excess liquid. Turn them out into the seasoned flour and toss to coat.
  4. Use a slotted spoon to remove the peas from the flour, tapping them to remove extra flour, and add the seasoned peas to the hot oil. Fry until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the fried peas to a paper-towel-lined plate and immediately season with the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt. Serve warm.
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