Sunday, January 2, 2011

1st dinner of 1-1-11!

Once again...Happy New Year! For dinner this year, I really wanted to make the traditional black eyed peas and greens. Every year that I can remember my Mom has done this on New Years day. Honestly, I never looked forward to it...when I was younger I thought black eyed peas and greens were gross. Oh, but I am thankful that my Mom made us eat this while we were I have come to appreciate all types of food.

I decided that a little more luck for us wouldn't hurt for the New Year by making these foods. This is the explanation from Wikipedia: Eating black-eyed peas on New Year's Day is thought to bring prosperity. The "good luck" traditions of eating black-eyed peas at Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, are recorded in the Babylonian Talmud (compiled ~500 CE), Horayot 12A: "Abaye [d. 339 CE] said, now that you have established that good-luck symbols avail, you should make it a habit to see qara (bottle gourd), rubiya (black-eyed peas, Arabic lubiya), kartei (leeks), silka (either beets or spinach), and tamrei (dates) on your table on the New Year." In the Southern United States, the peas are typically cooked with a pork product for flavoring (such as bacon, ham bones, fatback, or hog jowl), diced onion, and served with a hot chili sauce or a pepper-flavored vinegar. The traditional meal also features collard, turnip, or mustard greens, and ham. The peas, since they swell when cooked, symbolize prosperity; the greens symbolize money; the pork, because pigs root forward when foraging, represents positive motion.[6] Cornbread also often accompanies this meal. "Hoppin' John", made of black-eyed peas, rice, and pork, is a traditional dish of Southern United States.

I have never made Hoppin John before, so gave it a try yesterday...horray, it tuned out great! Our greens were kale (b/c that's my new fav. veggie right now) and we had ham and cheese "biscuits."

Here is the recipe for the Hoppin John...courtesy of Emeril:


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large ham hock
1 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 pound black-eyed peas, soaked overnight and rinsed
1 quart chicken stock
Bay leaf
1 teaspoon dry thyme leaves
Salt, black pepper, and cayenne
3 tablespoons finely chopped green onion
3 cups steamed white rice


Heat oil in a large soup pot, add the ham hock and sear on all sides for 4 minutes. Add the onion, celery, green pepper, and garlic, cook for 4 minutes. Add the black-eyed peas, stock, bay leaves, thyme, and seasonings. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 40 minutes, or until the peas are creamy and tender, stir occasionally. If the liquid evaporates, add more water or stock. Adjust seasonings, and garnish with green onions. Serve over rice.

Here is the recipe for the delicious Kale...will def. be making this recipe again!!!!


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 teaspoons white sugar
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
4 cups stemmed, torn and rinsed kale
1/4 cup dried cranberries
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup sliced almonds


Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic; cook and stir until the onion softens and turns translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the mustard, sugar, vinegar, and chicken stock, and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the kale, cover, and cook 5 minutes until wilted.
Stir in the dried cranberries, and continue boiling, uncovered, until the liquid has reduced by about half, and the cranberries have softened, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with sliced almonds before serving.


  1. Sounds delicious! I also was researching the traditional foods and found what NOT to eat on New Years Day. Lobster or crabs or shrimp or anything that crawls backwards it could lead to setbacks. Also, no fowl, as your good fortune could fly away. Who Knew? Happy New Year and Loves

  2. Omg, I did not know that about what NOT to eat...that is SOOO interesting! Phew, I'm glad we didn't come near anything that can crawl backwards! Thanks for the fun facts. Love you!