Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year recipes for good luck!

I'm headed out the country tomorrow, so I've handed over the recipes for the traditional New Year's Day dishes to my son, Chris.  Actually, I wrote them down since following an actual recipe isn't the southern way. Yes, Chris is fix in' the required blackened peas and collards to enjoy while I am somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean.  I no longer know why you must eat these dishes… something about luck and prosperity…but we fix them because they taste wonderful.  

So if you are interested, below you'll find my preferred recipes for blackened peas and collard greens…. 

New Years Day dishes - Black -Eyed Peas and Collards

Blackeyed peas 

2 cups dried peas
6 cups boiling water
4-5 slices bacon, diced
1 onion, chopped
salt to taste
Place dried peas in a bowl, discard any pebbles or broken beans. Cover with boiling water, let stand for two hours. In a large kettle, saute onion in bacon fat. Pour in 5 cups boiling water. Drain peas and add to the pot, add salt. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat. Cook 1-2 hours, keeping covered with water. Cook peas until tender.

Collard Greens or "Collards" 
2 bunches fresh collard greens - look for bunches without any wilted leaves
4 cups chicken or turkey broth
Ham hock (use 6 slices of bacon if you can’t get a ham hock)
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon coarse salt
salt & pepper, to taste

Prep for pot liquor - In a large pot or dutch oven, add 4 cups of chicken or turkey broth, the ham hock and pour in enough water to cover the ham hock. 
Bring to a boil, then simmer for 1 hour. 

Prep collards - Wash the collards in a sink of cold water. Take collards out of the water. Drain the sink and rinse again. (This time add a Tablespoon of coarse salt to the water - sea salt or kosher salt is good. If you don’t have either, table salt will work.) Take collards out of the water.  Cut the stems and all tough ribs and discard.  Roll up the collard leaves and coarsely chop. 

Add collards to the pot of ham hock and broth.  You will probably have to push down on the greens to get them all into the pot, so add so you can still get the lid on the pot.** Bring to a boil. (**As the greens wilt, you can add the rest of the collards to the pot.) Stir. Cover with a lid and reduce heat to simmer.  Simmer the greens until they kind of fall apart when stirred. (Approx. 1 - 1 1/2 hours.) Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Note: the broth and ham hock are already salty so taste before you add salt. 

Pot liquor can be enjoyed as a hot beverage… I'm not kidding. It's pretty good. 

Go Ahead - Google it!