Black-eyed peas are practically a requirement for a southern new year’s celebration. Black-peas bring luck and when served with some sort of greens (collards, turnip, cabbage – take your pick), you are assured good luck in life and money. We like to serve some sort of pork with our peas and greens. This year we decided to expand our pallets a little and make Ina Garten’s delicious pork tenderloin, roasted Brussels sprouts, and Hoppin’ John.
Hoppin’ John has its roots in West Africa and the simple dish of rice and beans was historically a staple food throughout much of the South. Black-eyed peas occasionally show up on our table during the summer when you can get them freshly shelled at farmer’s markets. Personally, I prefer lady peas or pink-eyes, but since black-eyed peas are a southern tradition for new years, they belong on our table.
Hoppin’ John – adapted from All You
6 slices bacon, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
½ cup diced celery
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper, if desired
2 cans (15 oz each) black-eyed peas, one drained, one not
1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes (not drained)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cooked white rice
Spray a large saucepan with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Fry bacon until it’s beginning to crisp. Add in onion and celery and sauté until soft and translucent, 5-8 minutes. Lower the heat to medium-low if onion begins to brown. Sprinkle with red pepper if using, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Stir to combine and add in tomatoes. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Cook 30-45 minutes until the acidity has cooked out of the tomatoes. Add both cans of peas and cook 30 minutes longer. Check for seasonings and adjust as needed. Serve over (or mixed with) cooked white rice.
This year we roasted some Brussels sprouts instead of serving greens or cabbage (both of which I can’t stand – yuck!). You can use this recipe from Ina Garten or my (very quick) recipe below.
Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts
1½ pounds Brussels sprouts, brown ends and yellow outer leaves removed
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Coarse salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 375°. Spray a roasting pan with olive oil cooking spray. Cut sprouts in half. Toss in prepared pan with desired amount of olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Roast for 30-40 minutes, stirring every ten minutes.
Do you serve anything special on New Year’s Day?