Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Years Dinner

I have always loved tradition.  Traditions make me feel grounded and secure.  I really like that.  This morning I was relaxing a reflecting on 2014.  I realized that I have never celebrated New Years Day in the traditional sense before.  My memories of New Years Day as a child are yummy family breakfasts and watching the parade followed by a marathon of movies (think Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings).  I have always cherished those memories.

As I reflected this morning, I thought about food.  I had just seen a post from a friend who was making her family tradition of black eyed peas and greens with ham... What is this!!  This meal is very traditional in the south as it represents good fortune and wealth for the new year.  I thought I would attempt it.  So this is my California girl rendition.  I hope you enjoy!

Black-eyed Peas, Greens and Ham


Ingredients:
  • 32oz chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1-2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 C apple cider vinegar
  • 1 package frozen black eyed peas
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 lb pre-cooked ham
  • 1 package collard greens
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Tabasco sauce (optional)
Method:
  1. Pour stock, onion, red pepper, vinegar and peas in crock-pot
  2. Mix together mustard and brown sugar and spread over ham
  3. Cook on high 6 hours
  4. 3 hours in, remove lid and add in collard greens.  Recover and continue cooking.
  5. Remove ham and dice.  Add back into pot
  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper
  7. Serve with Tabasco

I also made some cheesy grits to go along with this meal.

Cheesy Grits

Ingredients:
  • 1 C milk
  • 1 C water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 C corn grits
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • pepper
  • 1/4 C shredded cheddar cheese (shred your own, it melts MUCH better)
  • couple dashes Tabasco sauce
Method:
  1. Bring milk and water to boil over medium high heat
  2. Slowly whisk in grits (this will prevent clumping)
  3. Reduce to low and cover 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally
  4. Turn off heat and stir in butter and pepper
  5. When melted, add in shredded cheddar and tabasco to taste

So there it was!  What did babe think?  Well, he had never had this before either and he is very skeptical of greens.  He loved it and gobbled down two plates.  

Here's to best wishes and fortune in 2015!  Happy New Year!