Happy New Year
I do not like black-eyed peas, but I don’t want any bad luck.
I am not superstitious, but why take chances? The black eyed pea requirement for good luck is a big problem for me since I do not like black-eyed peas. I grew up on a farm and we had all kinds of beans and peas from the garden. All were cooked the exact same way: boiled for a very long time, with onion and salt and pepper. Not my favorite. Even as an adult, I was known to put a single black-eyed pea on my plate at our New Year dinner just to cover my “good luck” bases.
Then, along comes my mother-in-law. She was an amazing cook and could make anything taste good. Could she perform a miracle with black- eyed peas? Yes she could. She made two recipes with black eyed peas that I could eat for days and now my “good luck” charm for the New Year is covered.
Cold Black Eyed Pea Salad
* My sister-in-law often packages this recipe in mason jars and brings it to everyone for a New Year’s Day gift.
2 cans black-eyed peas
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T coarse ground black pepper
1 medium onion, sliced into very thin rings
½ t. Tabasco
1 cup canola oil
1 ½ t. seasoned salt
1/4 cup wine vinegar
Drain and rinse peas. Add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. If serving in jars, fill jars with layers of onions, peas, onions, and peas, etc. Top with juice. Keep refrigerated for two weeks and turn jars over to distribute seasonings. Serve with plain crackers.
Better Than Hoppin’ John
1 (8oz. package) frozen black eyed peas, or 1 can peas, drained
1 cup rice, cooked
1 lb. Mild pork sausage, cooked and drained
1 lb. hot pork sausage, cooked and drained
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup fresh mushroom, sliced
1 T. garlic powder
1 t. salt
1 t. hot sauce
2 bay leaves
4oz. center cut ham, cubed
If using frozen black eyed peas, cook according to package direction and drain. Sauté onion, pepper, and mushrooms in a little oil. Mix all ingredients and put in a very large casserole dish. May be refrigerated or frozen at this point. Bake covered for 1 hour at 325 degrees. You may double rice and black-eyed peas.
Another requirement for any “good” New Year meal is greens. I love all boiled greens and I really love fresh turnip greens. They can be a bit messy and need to be thoroughly cleaned, but are worth the effort. These are two very easy recipes and even someone who is not a fan of greens will love.
Turnip Green Casserole
2 cans slightly drained greens
1 can cream of celery soup
1/2 cup mayo
1 T prepared horseradish
2 T pepper sauce (not hot sauce)
2 eggs beaten
Mix all ingredients and put in a greased casserole. Top with crumbled cornbread. Bake 350 for 30 minutes. Freezes well.
I first had this soup at a fundraiser for my children’s school. It is simple, easy to prepare, and delicious. I make mine in the crock pot for an easier preparation.
Turnip Green Soup
2 (14 oz.) cans great northern beans, drained
2 bags frozen turnip greens
5 cups chicken stock
1 onion, chopped
1 package Knorr’s vegetable soup mix
1 t hot sauce
1 t garlic powder
1 lb sausage, cut into 1 inch pieces (can use any sausage: smoked, kielbasa, turkey)
Salt/pepper to taste
Put all ingredients in a crock pot and cook on high for 4 hours.
This time of year, people tend to go one of two ways on dessert. 1) No dessert or a very low-fat “diet” dessert; or 2) Eat a small but very decadent dessert. I have a recipe for each way of thinking, both are delicious.
Healthy or Diet Dessert:
Yummy Yogurt Pie
2 (8-oz) container strawberry yogurt
1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
1 (9 oz.) container light frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 low fat graham cracker crust
Fold yogurt and berries into whipped topping. Spoon mixture into crust. Freeze for four hours or overnight. Remove from freezer at least 30 minutes before serving. Garnish with more fruit if desired.
Rich, Decadent One-bite Dessert
Chocolate Ganache Truffles
Bring 1 cup heavy cream to a slight boil. Process in a blender 12 oz. of semisweet (55 percent or 60 percent cacao) chocolate chopped or broken into pieces. Carefully pour in hot cream. Process about 10 seconds until smooth. Add 2 T. softened butter, and process for another 10 seconds. Transfer mixture to a bowl and cover. Allow to firm in the refrigerator overnight for at least two hours. Once the chocolate is firm, scoop out with a teaspoon and roll into a ball. Roll each truffle in high quality coco powder or ground nuts. Store truffles in an air tight container in the refrigerator and allow to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.