Recipes in this Post
Almost every year, I bake a ham for Christmas so that I can have the bone for New Year’s Day. Of course, this year I roasted a goose, so I had no ham bone. Luckily, my good friend Stevie Lewis saved me the bone from his family’s Christmas ham. From this bone, I make Hoppin John, and old Southern dish of black-eyed peas, ham, and rice. With it, I serve steamed Kale and cornbread.
There is quite a long tradition with this meal. The black-eyed peas are said to represent coins, the kale is green like money, and the cornbread is golden to represent gold. Eating this for New Year’s Day is supposed to bring good fortune for the New Year.
Well, it might not bring any more money into your purse, but it is very economical. It’s a break for all the heavy holiday foods. It’s also very good for you. Black-eyed peas are high in protein, iron, zinc and potassium. Kale has anti-cancer properties. Corn bread, if you don’t put tons on butter on it, is also good for you.
I have been making this meal for years, but alas, the only photo is the one at the top. But, I’ll take pictures when I make it, so if you’re here after January, 2012, there are probably more pictures.
You can make this either in a good dutch oven, or you can make it in a slow cooker. If you want to make it in the slow cooker, understand that black-eyed peas do not take anywhere near as long to cook as other dried beans.
- 1 Onion chopped
- 1/3 Green pepper chopped
- 1/3 Red Bell Pepper chopped
- 1/3 Yellow bell pepper chopped
- 1 teaspoon Bacon fat
- 1 Hambone
- 1 pound Black eyed peas dry
- 1 teaspoon Zatarain's Creole Seasoning
- 1 quart Water
- 1 cup Jasmine Rice
- 2 cup Water
- 1 teaspoon Butter
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- In a deep heavy pot, sauté the onions and peppers in the bacon fat until the onions are translucent. Add the ham bone, black-eyed peas, water, and seasoning. The water should cover the beans completely - add more water as needed. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer for about 2 1/2 hours, or until the beans have completely softened. Cut some of the meat away from the bone and mix it in well.
- To make the rice, put the rice, water, butter, and salt into a heavy pan. Cover and simmer until the rice has absorbed all the water, about 20 minutes.
- When the rice is done, serve the beans over the rice, and offer the other ingredients to those who wish them.
You can add a little smoke flavoring if you want.
My former boss, and friend, Adel, gave me this recipe a long time ago.
Don’t be afraid of eating kale, it’s really good for you and very tasty.
Kale is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin, and reasonably rich in calcium. Kale, as with broccoli and other brassicas, contains sulforaphane (particularly when chopped or minced), a chemical with potent anti-cancer properties. Boiling decreases the level of sulforaphane; however, steaming, microwaving, or stir frying do not result in significant loss. Along with other brassica vegetables, kale is also a source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical which boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells. Kale is also a good source of carotenoids.Wikipedia Kale
By the way, did you know that the “decorative” cabbages you see in landscapes are actually kale, and are perfectly good to eat?
- 1 bunch Kale torn
- 1 teaspoon Cider Vinegar
- Put the kale into a plastic bag, and microwave it for 3 minutes.
- Remove from the microwave, pour on the vinegar, and toss.
Kale is particularly good with beans.
You can omit the vinegar if desired, or add butter.
Cornbread with Nuggets
I love cornbread. Usually, I make sweet corn muffins, but, for this dish, cornbread with nuggets of corn, and mild green chilies really do the trick.
- 1 cup Yellow Corn Meal
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 cup milk
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 large egg lightly beaten
- 1 small can green chilies
- 1 small can sweet corn
- 1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 400F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan or iron skillet.
- Combine the meal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Combine milk, oil, and egg in small bowl; mix well. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture then stir just until blended.
- Add green chilies, corn, and cheddar. Stir just until blended. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until the top has browned, and a toothpick comes out clean.
Please use real cheese that you have grated yourself. Cheese that comes already grated has fillers that could affect the texture and flavor.
If you want it really spicy, add Chipotle pepper or Jalapeño pepper instead. You can also buy the corn with the chilies already mixed in, but I don't think there are enough.