Before trying this recipe, you may want to learn a secret revealed by Daniel Roberts as to the easiest and best way to peel the black-eyed-peas.  Read this great advice at the bottom of this page.


1          pound dried black-eyed peas

3          cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

2          small bird peppers * or other hot peppers

1          teaspoon salt

            Vegetable oil



          Soak peas overnight (See bottom of this page). Remove husks by rubbing peas between hands until they are loose. Place peas in water again and the husks will rise to the top. Pour off husks and water.

          Puree peas, garlic, bird peepers and salt in a food processor or container of a blender, adding a little water if necessary to male a creamy past. Pour oil 3 inches deep into a deep into a deep-flat fryer and the heat to 375 degrees. Carefully drop mixture by teaspoons into oil and fry until golden brown.


Yield:           3 dozen


Key West Woman's Club Cookbook

  Peter (Perucho) Sanchez's Secret revealed by Daniel Roberts

I just got through visiting I had lots of fun looking around, seeing pictures and looking for some old friends.

Just for fun, I went to "RECIPES" and came accross the Recipe for BOLLOS. After reading this recipe (which I have placed at the bottom of this email), I decided to share a well kept secret that has been between four people for over 70 years. I learned to make bollos from the king himself. That would be Perucho, or Peter Sanchez, brother of Mario Sanchez. They lived on Catherine St. between Duval and Simonton. Perucho had the bollo stand in front of the entrance to the aquarium.

What I'm going to do is share the secret of peeling the black-eyed-peas with everyone, which is really the hardest part of making bollos. The rest everyone can do to their taste.

Of course you can follow the Key West Woman's Club recipe and you'll do just fine, but there is an easier way. If you read the recipe below you'll find that you're supposed to soak the peas overnight. This is what Perucho, his brother, one of the Five Brothers at the grocery store on Southard Street, and I loved to tell everybody. But that was a big fat lie. If you soak the peas overnight, you're in for a lot of work. And that's why not too many places sold bollos in Key West, because of the work entailed in peeling the black-eyed-peas. The next part in the recipe below that speaks about removing the husks by rubbing the peas between your hands will work, but that, too, is labor intense. And the part about the husks rising to the top of the water is not true. It just won't happen. But I will show you how you can get it to.

The first thing you do is to take your "DRY" peas and put them through a grinder. That's right, they have to be ground dry. They are not to be ground fine, but ground only enough to break each pea up into 6 0r 8 pieces. Perucho used an old hand grinder that had an adjustable plate that would allow you to do this. They are hard to find, but they are available today.

Now, you have got to be quick. You're going to throw the broken pieces of beans into a large bowl. We used a big old washtub. But we'd throw in 8 to 10 pounds of peas at a time. I wouldn't recommend more than 2 pounds of peas going into the large bowl.

Get ready, because in less than 30 seconds the husks will break away from the peas and are going to float to the top of the water as you swish everything around with your hand. That's when you take a strainer and wave it around in the water to remove the husks. After you've scooped out some husks, put your hand in the pieces of beans again and swirl them around. You'll see that more husks will float around. After a couple of times getting the husks out with a strainer you'll see that the husks no longer float. What happens is that they become water logged and will sink to the bottom of the bowl just like the pieces of peas did. You have to keep swirling with your hand and scooping with the strainer until the beans are pretty clean. Of course, a few pieces of the black part of the eye will remain. If it's not too many it will not make a difference. But you need to get all of the husks out.

Another very important thing to tell you is that after the peas are clean, let them soak for only 2 to 2.5 hours. No more than that. Then put the cleaned peas back into the grinder and grind them well. When you make the batter and have to add a little water, use the white milky water left from cleaning the peas. This water is full of starch and will make a much better bollo.

You also might want to know this: 10 pounds of black-eyed-peas will make you 22 pounds of cleaned peas after you have soaked them (that's how much water they soak up). After that if the bollos you fry aren't too big, you should get 3 dozen bollos per pound.

Perucho had an old time bathtub in the back of his house where he cleaned peas. He hooked a motor to his grinder with a fan belt and that made everything easier. And he had several bird-pepper plants growing there so he always had them for his bollos because it only takes a very small amount for each batch.

For you bollo lovers, I hope you try removing the husks this way. I'm sure you'll like it. If you have any questions, just holler.