Sunday, January 01, 2012

{ vittles for luck & prosperity }

Happy 2012! gives a great explanation for the traditional southern New Year's Day fare of blackeyed peas cabbage.

"If you are planning to celebrate the New Year in the Southeast, it is most likely that you will be offered black-eyed peas in some form, either just after midnight or on New Year's Day. From grand gala gourmet dinners to small casual gatherings with friends and family, these flavorful legumes are traditionally, according to Southern folklore, the first food to be eaten on New Year's Day for luck and prosperity throughout the year ahead.

The practice of eating black-eyed peas for luck is generally believed to date back to the Civil War. At first planted as food for livestock, and later a food staple for slaves in the South, the fields of black-eyed peas were ignored as Sherman's troops destroyed or stole other crops, thereby giving the humble, but nourishing, black-eyed pea an important role as a major food source for surviving Confederates.

Today, the tradition of eating black-eyed peas for the New Year has evolved into a number of variations and embellishments of the luck and prosperity theme .... Served with greens (collards, mustard or turnip greens, which varies regionally), the peas represent coins and the greens represent paper money. In some areas cabbage is used in place of the greens."

So here's this year's version of blackeyed peas and cabbage. Take note: the sliced garlic in the cabbage is especially ahhhh-mazing -- so flippin' good.

Texas-style Black-Eyed Peas with Jalapenos and Bacon
(adapted from Homesick Texan)

1 pound dried black-eyed peas
4 cups water
6 slices of bacon, coursely chopped
1/4 cup bacon drippings
1 large onion, chopped
14-ounce can of diced tomatoes, drained
6 garlic cloves, minced
4 jalapenos (pickled or fresh), chopped
2 teaspoons chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Sliced jalapenos to garnish

Wash and pick over peas.

In a large pot, add peas and water; bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.

Add all other ingredients and simmer, covered, 1 to 1-1/2 hours, or until peas are tender.

Serve hot and garnished with sliced jalapeno.

Sauteed Cabbage with Bacon and Garlic
(adapted from KitchenDaily)

1 large cabbage
6 slices of bacon, coursely chopped
5 cloves of garlic, sliced medium-thin
1/2 cup of water
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of coursely-ground pepper
juice from 1 large lemon

Quarter cabbage, then core and cut into large pieces.

Cook bacon in heavy skillet over medium heat until it begins to sizzle, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until bacon is browned, about 3 minutes.

Add cabbage and remaining ingredients to pan; cook and stir until cabbage is reduced enough to cover with lid; continue to cook covered, stirring occasionally, until cabbage softens, about 8 minutes.

Season to taste and transfer to serving dish.

1 comment:

Beverly said...

I'm laughing so hard.
Our black eyed peas recipes are so darn similar (as are our bowls :)).
I didn't make cabbage. You out-New Years Eved me in the kitchen.