New Year’s Day calls for a few traditional staples
According to legendary Southern food researcher John Egerton’s Southern Food: At Home, On the Road, In History, black-eyed peas are associated with a “mystical and mythical power to bring good luck.” As for collard greens, they’re green like money and will ensure you a financially prosperous new year. From SouthernLiving.com.
Cornbread is traditionally served with the peas. The cornbread represents gold. If the peas are stewed with tomatoes, it symbolizes wealth and health.
Classic Hoppin’ John
By Paige Grandjean
In this recipe, thick-cut bacon is used for smokiness as opposed to a ham hock, which might overpower the dish. Black-eyed peas are cooked in one pot and rice in another.
Three thinks to keep the dish traditional: “the pork, the peas, and the rice,” writes Paige Grandjean in Southern Living.
6 thick-cut bacon slices, chopped
4 celery stalks, sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 medium-size yellow onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 small green bell pepper, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
3 garlic cloves, chopped (about 1 Tbsp.)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
8 cups lower-sodium chicken broth
4 cups fresh or frozen black-eyed peas
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups uncooked Carolina Gold rice
Fresh scallions, sliced
What to do
Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until starting to crisp, about 10 minutes. Add celery, onion, bell pepper, garlic, thyme, black pepper, cayenne, and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender, about 8 minutes. Add broth and black-eyed peas and bring to a boil over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until peas are tender, about 40 minutes. Drain pea mixture, reserving cooking liquid. Return pea mixture and 1 cup of the cooking liquid to Dutch oven. Cover to keep warm; set aside.
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Add rice and cook, stirring often, until fragrant and lightly toasted, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in 3 cups of the reserved cooking liquid and remaining 1⁄2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook until rice is tender, 15 to 18 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork, and gently stir into pea mixture in Dutch oven. Stir in remaining cooking liquid, 1⁄4 cup at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Sprinkle servings with sliced fresh scallions.
Rich Corn Cake
The Fanny Farmer Cookbook, 1990
By Marion Cunningham
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup flour
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
¾ teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
¼ cup milk
2 eggs, well beaten
4 tablespoons butter, melted
What to do
Preheat oven to 425°F. Butter a 9x9x2-inch pan. Combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt and mix well. Quickly add the sour cream, milk, eggs and butter Stir just to mix. Spoon into pan and bake for about 20 minutes. Cook and cut in squares.
Recipes abound for cooking collards. Generally, one pound of fresh collards serves two people.
Wash the greens thoroughly, changing water two or three times.
Remove the tough ribs or spines, by folding the leaf in half and slicing off the spine.
Tear leaves into small pieces.
Cook with some type of smoked meat, like bacon, ham hock.
Use chicken broth.
Cooking times vary widely.
Do you have a favorite way to prepare collards? Share it with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or mailing to PO Box 400, Manteo, NC 27954.