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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