According to legend, if you want prosperity and good health this year, you must include peas and greens for a meal, and they need to be seasoned with a hunk of hog jowl!
We’ve got some good and simple ways to prepare your greens and peas, and mine are already on the stove simmering until time to eat!
I’ve got dried peas to be served with Dirty Rice, Hoppin’ John and fresh collards, seasoned with a generous slab of hog jowl.
Baked sweet potatoes are on the stove, waiting to be peeled, sliced and topped with butter. There are also cornbread muffins to go along with the peas and greens. I hope you are planning an old southern traditional meal for today. It really doesn’t take long to prepare any of the dishes and I can assure you, your family will love the food!
After all of the football games are over this evening, and the last firecracker has exploded, it will be time to settle back into our normal routine. I don’t know about you – but I’m glad!
Dried black-eyed peas are really very easy to prepare. But if you would rather – you can pick up some cans of peas. That’s what I used for Hoppin’John this year. Someone said there were more recipes for Hoppin’John than you could even imagine. The recipe we’re using today just makes a good salad to go along with the other New Year’s traditional dishes.
Collards or turnip greens are not complicated at all, but we all know preparing them can be a little time consuming, since they have to be looked at for insects; the big stems have to be removed from the center of the leaves; and they must be washed several times to get all of the outside dust and dirt off.
After all of this is done, I roll the leaves a few at a time and slice them on my cutting board. The cut leaves are dropped in a pot of boiling water and when the water comes back to a boil, I let it boil for about 3-4 minutes, then pour the water off and add fresh water to finish cooking the greens. The reasoning is if the greens have the least bit of a bitter taste, this process removes that. It really doesn’t have to be done, but its part of my cooking process, and something I was told years ago.
After the greens and fresh water comes to a boil, add the hog jowl, then reduce the heat and cook the greens slowly. It takes about an hour for them to cook until tender.
Cans of seasoned collards and turnip greens are available at the grocery, and the really are delicious, just in case you don’t care to do the fresh ones. All the canned ones need is a little hog jowl for seasoning.
Drain the cans of greens and place a few thin slices of hog jowl in the broth. Cook the meat very slowly until it is tender, then dump the greens in and heat well.
Almost all of the Hoppin’John recipes I found called for canned black-eyed peas, but I can promise the dried ones taste better when served with the rice.
As far as the resolutions are concerned – I always make some, break some and keep some, just as most folks do.
But I do resolve to be with you for Wednesday mornings’ food page this coming year, and I hope you will enjoy exploring good, simple, basic family foods with me.
May God bless you and yours through this coming year with good health, happiness and a strong faith in Him.
2 cans black-eyed peas, drained
!/4 c. apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons bacon bits
1/3 c. sautéed onions
¼ c. jalapeno peppers, chopped
¼ c. finely chopped Roma tomato
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper
Mix all ingredients. Place in a serving bowl and chill until ready to serve.
1 & ½ c. rice, uncooked
3 c. water
¼ t. salt
1 envelope Lipton Onion Soup Mix
½ stick butter
Measure rice and water in sauce pan. Add onion soup mix and butter. Bring mixture to a boil, and then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook very slowly for 15 minutes. Remove lid, fluff rice with a fork; cover and turn off heat. Let rice “rest” for at least 10 minutes, before removing from sauce pan.
DRIED BLACK-EYED PEAS
1 pkg. dried black-eyed peas
½ t. salt
¼ lb. smoked hog jowl
Look peas for any faulty ones. Rinse twice with cold water. Place in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Place on heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, stir well and add hog jowl. Cover and cook slowly until peas are tender, about 1 hour. Serve with Dirty Rice.