New Year's Dinner

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Whether or not you're superstitious (I'm not), the New Year's Dinner is a fun tradition.  I look forward to it every year.  Last year I decided to make Ree Drummond's Hoppin' John as a sort of spin on my family's classic meal.  

Closeup of the beans, with the bell peppers.  So good- we may have spooned it over quinoa.
Just in case you're not sure about the New Year's Meal superstition, the idea is that certain foods- black eyed peas, greens, and pork- represent luck and prosperity in the new year.  

The collard story in three pictures
Huge bunch in the pan...

Cooks down very small!
I'm not sure what my New Year's meal prep says about me, except that I'm a huge klutz, but I shattered glass into my New Year's meal and had to redo it all again a day or so later.  I was so upset. Fortunately, I'm here to tell you that the shattered glass wasn't some symbol of the failure and disaster to come this year.  It's been a good year.  

We served our hoppin' john with sauteed collard greens, a baked sweet potato, and cornbread.  It was a country feast.

from The Pioneer Woman aka Ree Drummond

4 Tablespoons Butter
1 whole Large Onion, Diced
4 cloves Garlic, Minced
1 whole Green Bell Pepper, Diced
2 stalks Celery, Diced
4 cups Soaked Black-eyed Peas
5 cups Chicken Broth
Salt And Pepper, to taste
Cayenne Pepper To Taste
2 Tablespoons White Vinegar
Soak black-eyed peas in cool water for at least 6 hours.  Drain the peas from the water.

Heat butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, green pepper, and celery and stir. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in soaked beans, then add chicken broth, salt & pepper, and cayenne to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover the pot for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, check the liquid level; if it's too soupy, cook with the lid off for another 15 minutes or so. If it's too thick, splash in a little more broth.  Stir in vinegar, then taste for seasonings. Add more spice if needed.

You can serve it over rice, with greens and cornbread, or eat it as is.

  • I cook dried beans and peas a lot.  I like their flavor and texture better than canned beans.  To cook from dried, follow the same plan in the pinto bean post- sort and rinse the dried beans, cover them with a couple inches of water in a large bowl and let them soak overnight.  Below is a picture of a good way to sort:
    Spread the beans/peas out on a large baking sheet.  It makes it easy to see rocks or bad beans

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