These receipes have become a New Year's Day tradition for me (and mostly me, although I did get my wife to have some hoppin john this time). Having black-eyed peas on New Year's Day is an old southern thing (and something my family's done as long as I can remember), although hoppin john specifically is something I've only been doing the last few years. Both of these recipies are more folk tradition, so are kind of inexact, but also allow for a lot of variation.
Not pictured: cornbread, which I've shown off before.
- Rice (optional)
- ~3 slices of bacon, chopped up
- One onion, diced
- One green pepper, diced (This didn't get used this time because we (read: my wife) forgot to get it from the store).
- Garlic, minced. I use a lot, but at least a couple cloves
- 2 cans diced tomatoes
- 2 cans black-eyed peas, rinsed
- Spices and such. I used a combination of black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, mace, ginger, celery seed, some bourbon-infused honey, and a fuckload of cayenne pepper.
Get the rice going in whatever way you want (although if you don't have a for-real rice cooker, I don't know what to tell you).
In a decent-sized pot, cook the bacon over medium-high heat. Once it renders down some and you have enough liquid in the pan to coat the bottom, add the onions, garlic, and green pepper (this will also deglaze any bacon stuck to the pan). Once the onions start to become translucent, add the tomatoes and black-eyed peas. Mix everything. Then add the spices and stir it up, and give it a taste to see if you need to add anything else. Reduce the heat and simmer it to reduce some of the liquid, stirring periodically. Serve over rice (or not).
Lori's cabbage stuff
This is named after the friend who taught me this recipe. She's originally from Appalachia (her husband calls her one of the "hill people"), and has lots of good simple recipes like this.
- One head of cabbage, cut into big chunks. I just chop it into 4 big pieces by cutting around the stem, and then cut those pieces down a couple more times.
- 2-3 onions (I used a whole bag of the frozen, diced onions)
- 3-4 strips of bacon, chopped up
- One bottle of beer. Darker but not too sweet or hoppy is best, so something like a decent lager. IPA may work, but I don't like it, so have never tried.
In a pot, cook down the bacon over medium-high heat (again, getting enough liquid to cover the pan). Add the onions, and cook until they start to go translucent. Throw in the cabbage chunks and pour the beer over the top. Cook down, stirring regularly and separating the layers some. You want the cabbage to cook down and lose its bitterness, but you don't want to turn it to mush. It'll actually become slightly sweet once you hit the right amount of "done-ness." It basically steams thanks to the liquid in the bottom, and you end up with a yummy liquid that you should eat with it.