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  • Writer's pictureBobbi Jo Lathan

Hot Cowboy Caviar

Updated: Dec 29, 2023

This original dish was created in the 1940’s by Helen Corbitt,  who was the famous Director of Food Services at Neiman-Marcus in Dallas, Texas. She placed her new creation (which, at that time was pickled black-eyed peas) on the menu of the famous Neiman’s eatery, The Zodiac Room. The dish was later tweaked with jalapeños and corn by The Driscoll Hotel in Austin, Texas, and dubbed with the more catchy name of Texas Caviar, and was served as a salsa. This dish became so popular that Texans have made this their “Good Luck New Year’s Dish.” So, if you’re lookin’ for the New Year to bring you some TEXAS-SIZED LUCK, you might want to indulge in some Hot Cowboy Caviar.

Hot Cowboy Caviar

Recipe by: Bobbi Jo Lathan

Recipe type: Side Dish

Cuisine: Southern


10 mins


10 mins


20 mins


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

¾ cup chopped red onion

4 cloves fresh garlic (chopped)

1 jalapeño pepper (seeded and finely chopped)

1 cup cherry tomatoes (cut in half or quartered)

¾ cup fresh cilantro leaves (roughly chopped)

4 ears yellow corn (shucked, cleaned, and kernels cut from cob)

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

½ teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon Pendery’s Ancho Ground Chili Powder (FABULOUS spice store where I order all my chili powders. You’ll go nuts! Check ‘em out at www.pendery’

½ cup freshly cooked or canned black beans (drained and rinsed)

½ cup freshly cooked or canned black-eyed peas (drained and rinsed- optional)

Juice and zest of 1 fresh lime


  1. Heat the two tablespoons of olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

  2. Add the chopped onions and garlic and jalapeño.

  3. As soon as the onions begin to get translucent, add the tomatoes. Stir around until the tomatoes begin to wilt a bit.

  4. Add the cilantro and stir ‘til blended.

  5. Add the fresh corn kernels and stir to blend.

  6. Add the salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin, and Pendery’s Ancho Ground Chili Powder and stir ‘til incorporated. Then, add the drained black beans (and black-eyed peas if you choose) and let cook for 1 minute.

  7. Finish the dish off with the fresh lime zest and juice, and stir again ‘til blended. Let cook, stirring, for another minute or so and you’re done (don’t overcook as you want the corn to still pop when you bite into it)!


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