As tradition has it, the New Year is begun with poor mans' foods which typically are greens (collard, mustard, turnip or a combination) and black eye peas seasoned with ham hocks (or other smoked meat), corn bread and some less expensive meats which includes for example chitlins, oxtails and ham. The myth is that the greens will bring you money and the black eyed peas will bring you luck for the new year. All this served with a prayer make for a very warming, soulful New Years dinner.
Today, I cooked black eyed peas, southern greens with oxtail stew and rice. A rainy day in L.A. was warmed by this meal. I also wanted to prepare some cornbread but to my dismay, found my cornmeal bugged (yikes). Plain bread will have to do. I do not eat chitlins and thus do not cook them, though my hubby loves him some "innards". He got his fill during our recent trip to N.C.
I also made vegetarian versions of the greens and black eye peas for TNC. The only difference is that I left out the ham hock. Not much favor to me but she enjoyed it.
Black Eyed Peas
1 lb bag of dried black eye peas(fresh are ok also)
1 large onion (chopped)
4 cloves of garlic minced (more or less to your taste)
2 smoked ham hocks
1 bay leaf
1 tsp oregano (1 tbsp fresh minced is better if you have it)
1 tsp dried pepper flakes (I used cayenne peppers which I dried from this summer's garden)
salt and pepper to taste
The night before rinse then soak your dried black eyed peas in water (2 cups water for each cup dried peas. If you use freash peas, no need to soak.)
Add your ham hocks to enough water to cover. Cook on medium heat for at least an hour to an hour and a half to release that smoky flavor.
Add the onion, garlic, bay leaf, oregano, pepper flakes and soaked black eyed peas to the water and ham hock. Cook until peas are tender (about an hour)
season to taste with salt and pepper
Though I used my own recipe, it is very similar to one published on Food TV by Cheryl Smith plus or minus a few ingredients
6 pounds oxtails
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
3 cups onions, medium dice
1 cup scallions, sliced
1 green bell pepper diced
3 stalks celery diced
4 garlic cloves minced
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup fresh parsley coarsely chopped
4 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons previously prepared roux ( I keep prepared roux available as a thickener. Same as roux used in gumbo recipe: 2 cups flour plus 1 cup olive oil butter mix. slowly brown over low heat until rick dark mahiononay color- do not burn!).
Wash then season oxtails with salt, pepper, garlic powder and celery salt
In a heavy-bottom braiser over medium-high heat, brown both sides of oxtail in batches in olive oil, drain excess oil leaving just enough to saute onion, bell pepper, celery mixture and thyme. After the onions mixture is sauteed return oxtails to braiser and add enough chicken broth plus water to cover the oxtails. Add the roux and disperse. Allow the liquid to come to a simmer. Season with salt, cover, and put into a preheated 350 degree oven for 2-3 hours or until oxtails are tender. Check to see if additional water is needed during braising process. Seasoning with more salt is recommended when finished.
Sprinkle with parsley and scallions, mix and serve.
Southern Greens (see previous post)
Vegetarian southern Greens for TNC
Vegetarian Black eye Peas for TNC
New Years Day Meal Photo Swap hosted by the Panama Gourmet, Melissa at Cooking Diva
new year dinner