Deep-Fried Black-Eyed Pea and Ham Bites with a Sweet Cranberry Dipping Sauce

A Southern holiday staple with a new twist!
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 20 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Cook: 5 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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1 can black-eyed peas, drained and roughly mashed

2 shallots, finely chopped

1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped

1 cup cooked ham, finely chopped

1 cup cornstarch

4 egg whites


Freshly ground black pepper

Dipping Sauce:

1 can whole cranberry sauce

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Vegetable oil, for frying


  1. In a large bowl combine the peas, shallot, bell pepper and ham. Mix in cornstarch, egg whites, salt and pepper, to taste.

For the dipping sauce:

  1. In a small saucepan, combine cranberry sauce, syrup and garlic powder. Heat through until warm. Cover and keep warm.
  2. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or deep-fryer until it reaches 325 degrees F. Working in batches and using 2 teaspoons, carefully slide small portions (bites) of the pea mixture into the hot oil. Note: The pea mixture is not very firm, so you have to slide them into the hot oil
  3. very slowly to they will keep their shape. Deep-fry for approximately 5 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Remove from oil and drain on a paper towel lined baking tray.
  4. Serve alongside warm cranberry dipping sauce.