Texas Caviar

Texas-Caviar-WebAs I do genealogy research on my ancestors, I also research the food, folk art, and history of their region, so that when I put together my family history book I can include recipes, steps to creating folk art, and historical facts, along with the photos and stories of my ancestors.

More than just an accounting of data and images, I hope to bring my family history book alive with the sights and smells of the cultures in which my ancestors lived, so it can be enjoyed by my family and their descendants.

I will also share these discoveries with you here, on Padilly’s Melting Pot.


To kick off my first “cultural recipe” for this blog, and to mark the beginning of the Holiday Season in the United States, I wanted to share with you a Texas favorite: Texas Caviar.

Texas-Caviar-IngredientsIf you do an internet search on Texas Caviar, you will find hundreds of recipes, but I believe this recipe to be the BEST because of its secret ingredient: Tiger Sauce.  If you are unfamiliar with Tiger Sauce, you will find it in the grocery isle where you find barbecue sauce.

My mother-in-law is the one who gave me this recipe, which was passed down by many friends. Keep copies on hand because it is one of those recipes that everyone will ask for after tasting the dish. Enjoy!


1 can black eyed peas (rinsed & drained)
1 can white corn (drained)
1 large red pepper, cut small
1 medium onion, cut small (I use sweet or white)
1 4oz jar pimento (drained)
2 avocados, cut small (do not add until you are about to serve)

Mix all ingredients above (except avocados) and place in a container with lid. Then make dressing.



3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup of olive oil
1 tablespoon of Tiger Sauce
salt & pepper to taste (I start with a teaspoon of each)

Pour the dressing over veggies and marinate in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Before serving, drain oil marinade and discard. Cut up avocados just before serving, and add to vegetables. Serve with corn chips or pita bread.


Padilly Tips:

  • I always marinate overnight.
  • This makes a great dish to munch on during the week, so I often make it without the avocados and keep it in the refrigerator.
  • If adding the avocados, make sure that dish will be eaten within the day as avocados tend to brown quickly.
  • There is a lot of marinade drained from this dish, and it seems like a waste. For some this will be hard to throw away, and could be stored as a “sweet” dressing (too sweet for me).  To cut down on the marinade waste, I have made this dish several times using 1/2 cup, instead of using 3/4 cups listed above, and have not noticed any change in flavor (as long as you have a container that allows the marinade to cover all ingredients).

Hope you get a chance to make and enjoy this dish, and Season’s Greetings! May the month of December be filled with joy and happiness for you and your family, with a little taste of Texas.”


(Note: This will be my last post for 2013 as the holiday season is a busy time in the Padilly household, with lots of travel and  family. I look forward to 2014, and beginning the process of creating a family history book on PadillysMeltingPot.com.)


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7 Responses to “Texas Caviar”
  1. Melanie says:

    Very nice recipe! And I never thought to look at recipes and cultural foods of my ancestors. I might try to look into it now! I know my grandma had a mean chili recipe so I suppose that’s a good start. Happy holidays!!!

    • Mrs. Padilly says:

      The chili sounds like a great place to start! Yum! :)

      I’ve have a lot of fun researching authentic recipes from the lands of my ancestors, and then making and eating my results! There are so many wonderful dishes I would have never found otherwise. I’m also discovering close “substitutes” to the dishes my grandmothers use to make, but never wrote down their recipes. Those recipes are priceless to me.

      Happy holidays, Melanie!

  2. Lori Crane says:

    Welcome back!! This recipe sounds yummy!

    • Mrs. Padilly says:

      Temporary return, Lori, as I don’t post to my blogs during the month of December (only read). It’s hard, but I’d go crazy otherwise with all that goes on in the Padilly household. LOL.

      Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

      Do your book tours ever come through Texas? If so, tell me when and where!

      • Lori Crane says:

        Happy holidaze to you and yours also. My recent book tour was only a virtual one, online. I have a publicist (and by publicist, I mean cousin) scheduling stops in MS for me for the summer. Maybe I could squeeze a couple days in Texas, too. My music schedule is so jammed until June, I don’t have much time to devote to books right now, except yaking about them online.

        • Mrs. Padilly says:

          Well, it’s just as far to Fredericksburg, Texas (middle Texas) as it is to Natchez, MS. In fact, I’ll be in Natchez in two weeks. Wouldn’t hurt to make another trip “East” during the summer. Happy blogging!

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