Monday, December 31, 2012

cooking up good luck for the NEW year!

Every New Year's Day should have some black-eyed peas as the Southern folk believe it'll bring prosperity as Jewish belief is that it'll bring good luck... and so many other cultures share similar beliefs that there's gotta be something to it. Even if I'm just feeding my superstitious tendencies with hearty soul food that's just fine with me. I still have a few bay leaves collected a few months back and was eager to add them into the mix.
*I used this recipe below from Mad Hungry for the black-eyed peas, except I used a few strips of bacon instead of ham hock (I forgot to buy it) and cooked the onions and garlic in the rendered bacon fat first before adding other ingredients.

Black-eyed Peas
Ingredients1 pound dried black-eyed peas

  • 1 meaty smoked ham hock
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 2 bay leaves

  • Directions
  • 1.  In a large bowl, soak beans overnight covered by at least 2 inches of water. Drain and rinse beans
  • 2. Place beans, ham hock, onions, garlic, salt, and bay leaves in a large pot and add water to pot just to cover  beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour
  • 3.  Remove from heat. Transfer ham hock to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, discard skin and bones, chop meat, and return meat to the pot. Serve beans directly from the pot using a slotted spoon
  • Cornbread
  • Ingredients
  • 1 cup medium grind cornmeal 
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (I used all purpose) 
  • 1 tbsp baking powder 
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar (optional) 
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk 
  • 1/4 cup melted butter

  • Directions
  • 1.  Sift together dry ingredients into a bowl. 
2.  Add egg, milk and butter. Beat until smooth, about one minute. Do not overbeat. 
3.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bake in a greased 8-inch square pan for 20-25 minutes. Serve warm with butter and honey (or agave). 

Collard Greens
You really need collard greens with black-eyed peas and cornbread so I chopped up a piece of bacon and a few cloves of garlic,  threw them into a warm skillet for a few minutes (don't let them brown) and then piled greens on top. I had Italian chard and spinach, as that's what is in season here in the bay area but any bitter green should work. Just let the greens wilt down on medium heat, stirring every once in a while until they're tender. Perfect easy trio of southern flavors. 

Good Luck! 

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