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Food & Dining // Heart-y Chef
Diana Helfand

Dipping Into Black-eyed Peas For Luck

Ring in the new year with Marc Camelotti’s classic comedy Boeing Boeing opening Jan. 10 at Manoa Valley Theatre. It has the distinction of being the most-performed French play throughout the world, with the English-language version recently on Broadway and London’s West End, and it just earned a Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play.

Honolulu’s Elitei Tatafu Jr. often is involved in MVT productions as an actor and director, and according to him, “Boeing Boeing is a hilarious nonstop comedy farce set in Paris in the ’60s.”

The key message for Elitei is: “Life and love are often very serious. Don’t be afraid to take both lightly!”

As a Hawaii-based actor-director, he plays a role in many aspects of theatre life in the Islands, from working with high school students to MVT’s provocative production of the musical Avenue Q. Elitei says that if you need a way to cure that post-holiday let-down, Boeing Boeing is the perfect lighthearted comedy about a Parisian bachelor who is juggling three fiancées, none of whom knows the others exist.

This recipe is dedicated to Elitei, a successful and creative individual.

Try this tasty black-eyed pea dip, a staple in the South that is supposed to bring good luck in the new year. It goes great with your favorite tortilla chips and a little salsa.

Black-eyed peas are included in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Guide Pyramid under the meat and beans section, as they can be used as a plant protein source. One serving of black-eyed peas has only 70 calories and contains 3 grams of protein. They are fat- and cholesterol-free, and are a very good source of fiber and potassium. They contain zinc and are a rich source of iron.

SOUTHERN BLACK-EYED PEA DIP

* 1 pound black-eyed peas
* 8 ounces extra-virgin olive oil
* 8 ounces red wine vinegar
* 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
* 1 teaspoon sugar
* salt, to taste These next ingredients need to be chopped very finely:
* 1 large onion
* 1 bunch green onions (approximately 6)
* 1 red bell pepper
* 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
* 1 tablespoon fresh garlic
* 2 tablespoons fresh japaleno
* 2 tablespoons Ortega Green Chilies

Place black-eyed peas in a heavy pot and soak over low heat for 24 hours until tender but still firm so that they hold their shape when mixed with other ingredients. Let cool to room temperature. Then mix with olive oil, vinegar, oregano and sugar. Let stand while you prepare other ingredients.

Add remaining ingredients to the black-eyed pea mixture in a ceramic or nonreactive metal bowl.

Mix well and refrigerate for 24 hours.

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