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Cowboy Caviar

Black-eyed peas are traditional in this dish; however, black beans can be substituted. We much prefer the flavor of fresh corn here, but 3/4 cup frozen corn, thawed, can be substituted for the cooked corn in step 3. Add the avocado just before serving and stir it in gently to prevent it from turning mushy. Serve with tortilla chips.

Makes about 6 cups


1 jalapeño chile, seeded and chopped fine

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon ground cumin

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


1 ear corn, husk and silk removed (see note above)

1 (15.5-ounce) can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed (see note above)

1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped fine

2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped fine

2 scallions, minced

3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro


Hot sauce

1 ripe avocado, pitted, peeled, and chopped (see note above)

1. For the dressing: Whisk the jalapeño, garlic, vinegar, sugar, salt, and cumin together in a small bowl and let sit for 15 minutes. Whisk in the olive oil and set aside.

2. For the dip: Meanwhile, bring 2 quarts water to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add the corn and cook until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Using tongs, remove the corn from the water, allowing any excess water to drip back into the pan. Transfer the corn to a plate and let sit until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes.

3. Cut the kernels off the cob into a large bowl (see page 99). Add the black-eyed peas, bell pepper, tomatoes, scallions, and cilantro. Drizzle with the dressing and stir to combine. Season with salt and hot sauce to taste. (The dip can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 day.) Gently stir in the avocado and serve.

All recipes excerpted from Cook's Country Best Potluck Recipes by the editors of America's Test Kitchen. Published with permission from America's Test Kitchen. Copyright 2010 by the editors of America's Test Kitchen.

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