These Old Bay Roasted Potato Wedges are the perfect addition to any meal!
It’s hard to believe, but 2013 is drawing to a close! This has been a year full of changes, so I’ve done a lot of reflecting lately. Overall, it has been a good year, but there have been quite a few challenges, and I’m definitely ready to welcome 2014.
One of my favorite traditions at the start of a new year is to serve black-eyed peas. Eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day is a Southern tradition, and the beans are thought to bring prosperity in the new year. Now, you’re supposed to serve the black-eyed peas with greens (to bring wealth), which I usually do, and hog jowl or fatback (to ensure health?!?), which I skip. I’m not Southern or superstitious, so I figure any substitutions I make are okay!
My favorite way to serve black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day or at any time of year is stewed in a crock pot with spicy chipotle peppers, which give the beans a rich, smoky flavor. They couldn’t be easier to make or more delicious to eat.
Serves 6 as a Main Dish
- 1 lb. bag dried black-eyed peas
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 carrots
- 1 rib celery
- 1 medium onion
- 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- brown rice, optional
- cilantro or parsley, optional
Pick over peas and rinse thoroughly.
Prepare vegetables: peel garlic cloves (leave whole); peel and slice carrots; slice celery; and peel and quarter onion.
Small dice the chipotle pepper.
Add black-eyed peas, vegetables, and diced chipotles (along with a few spoonfuls of adobo sauce) to a crock pot.
Season beans with salt to taste. Serve over brown rice, garnished with cilantro or parsley, if you wish, or just enjoy a big bowlful!
Cooked greens are a natural counterpart to the black-eyed peas. An easy way to cook greens (I like kale, collard greens, or a mix of greens) is to saute a few cloves minced garlic in olive oil, along with a pinch of salt and some red pepper flakes. When garlic is fragant add chopped greens and half a cup of broth. Cover and cook until green are tender, stirring occasionally. Yum!
Do you have any favorite New Year’s traditions?
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Now that fall is here, it’s officially comfort food season. After a chilly day, there is nothing better than curling up with some hot chocolate, macaroni and cheese, cookies … basically anything full of carbs!
One of my favorite carbohydrates is the potato. Whether it’s baked, fried, roasted, or tater totted (ha), if it’s a potato, then I’m happy. I especially love twice-baked potatoes. Here is one of my favorite recipes: twice-baked potatoes filled with broccoli and cheese. These overstuffed potatoes are easy to make and delicious, and they can be served as a main coarse (add a salad) or a side dish.
Serves 4 (main dish) to 8 (side dish) people
- 4 medium baking potatoes
- 2 tbsp. butter, softened
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 tbsp. dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (or other cheese)
- 16-oz. package frozen cut broccoli
- salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Using a fork, pierce each potato all over. This will allow built-up steam to escape, and keep the potatoes from exploding in the oven (wouldn’t that be fun?!?). Place the pierced potatoes directly on the oven rack. Bake until tender (tested with your fork), about 45-60 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook broccoli in microwave according to package directions. Set cooked broccoli aside until it’s cool enough to handle, and then cut any large chunks of broccoli into bite-sized pieces.
When potatoes have cooled, slice off the top third. Remove potato flesh from the top slice and add it to a large bowl and then discard skin. Using a small spoon, scoop flesh from potatoes and add to bowl, leaving a 1/4-inch shell. Set potato skins aside on a greased baking sheet.
Oops! I didn’t realize until looking at these pictures that I used a jack/cheddar mix, instead of sharp cheddar that was also in my refrigerator. Guess what? No one noticed, and they were still delicious!
Add broccoli to mashed potatoes and stir until well-mixed. Taste again and add additional salt, if necessary.
Stuff each potato skin with 1/4 of the mashed potato mixture.
- Top with chili and pepper jack cheese
- Stuff with black beans, salsa, and monterey jack
- Pile high with garlic-sauteed spinach, cherry tomatoes, and feta
What is your favorite comfort food?