Tuesday, December 27, 2011

My Lucky New Year's Day Menu

Black-eyed peas have symbolized good fortune since ancient Egyptian times, so it's not strictly a Southern thing. In the South, you eat the black-eyed peas for luck and the greens for money. (You can always cheat and just serve a baby spinach salad for the greens if you don't like collard greens or turnip greens enough to spend that much time cooking them.) I always serve both with cornbread - whether it brings luck and fortune or not, it can't be a bad thing to start the first day of the year with such a delicious meal! ;)

Hoppin' John is the traditional black-eyed dish, but I prefer this Stewed Black-Eyed Peas recipe. The recipes are similar but the stewed black-eyed peas are a bit more soupy (and have andouille sausage instead of ham).

Stewed Black-Eyed Peas
1 lb andouille
1 c. yellow onion, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
4 cloves garlic
4 bay leaves
3 tsp dried parsley
8 c. chicken stock (or 4 cans chicken broth, like I use)
1 lb dried black-eyed peas, soaked overnight
1 tbsp minced garlic

Cut sausage in half lengthwise and into 1/4-inch slices. Brown over medium heat. Add onions, salt, cayenne, garlic, thyme, bay leaves and parsley, stirring, until the onions are wilted, about 5 min. Add the stock, peas and garlic. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, till the peas are tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove the bay leaves and serve warm with rice.

I tried this new recipe last year and liked it too, if you want more of an appetizer (or you like your greens with lots of cream and cheese!).

Hot Turnip Dip (via Sherry Lucas of The Clarion Ledger)
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup sliced button mushrooms
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped turnip greens, cooked according to package directions and well-drained
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 drops Tabasco

Saute the onion and celery in the butter until soft. Stir in mushrooms, saute until they are browned. Add the flour, stir until smooth, then add the heavy cream. Cook till slightly thickened. Add the turnip greens to the mixture. Add the cheese, stir until melted. Season with Worcestershire and Tabasco. Serve warm.

And, of course, any day is lucky that includes Mexican Cornbread, which always has to go with the black-eyed peas and greens at my house!

Happy New Year from my house to yours!

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