Cook's Corner: New Year meal can be new

Published 12:51 am Wednesday, December 27, 2006

By Staff
You probably still have some Christmas leftovers in your refrigerator today. However, if you expected more leftover recipes in today's column, I'm sorry. This holiday you are on your own as to how to use them up. Sandwiches are always a great idea. So take your best shot at that.
The recipes for this week's column are for New Year's Day meals. I know we are all planning on the typical black-eyed peas and greens for the day. I plan on that as well. But since black-eyed peas are not my favorite thing to eat, I've decided to search for some alternatives.
Don't have a heart attack - I will have black-eyed peas on the table, but as you'll see from today's recipes, I plan to take a different approach to their preparation.
This first recipe is for a gumbo using the traditional ingredient. I've also included a second recipe using black-eyed peas that is a little out of the ordinary.
Black-Eyed Pea Gumbo
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
5 stalks celery, chopped
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup brown rice
4 (15 ounce) cans black-eyed peas with liquid
1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chilies
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, and cook the onion, pepper, and celery until tender. Pour in the chicken broth, and mix in rice, black-eyed peas with liquid, diced tomatoes and green chilies, diced tomatoes, and garlic. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 45 minutes, or until rice is tender. Add water if soup is too thick.
Here's the second recipe I decided to share with you. If you plan on having a bunch of folks over to watch the games on New Year's Day, this dish is sure to be a crowd pleaser. I believe I've also heard this one called &#8220cowboy caviar”.
Black-Eyed Pea Salsa
1 (15.5 ounce) can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (11 ounce) can white corn, drained
1 and one-third cups medium salsa
Three-fourths cup chopped green pepper
One-half cup chopped green onions
1 (2.25 ounce) can chopped ripe olives, drained
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 envelope Italian salad dressing mix
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. garlic powder
Combine all ingredients well. Serve with tortilla chips. This dish is best made the day before and allowed to chill overnight.
It is traditional to serve something green for New Year's in the hopes that it will bring cash into your life in the coming 12 months.
I've eaten Cole slaw, turnips or collards all of my life on New Year's for that reason. But let me tell you, I must be eating them wrong ‘cause it hasn't worked yet.
I'm not giving up hope, however. This year I plan to serve Cole slaw with my black-eyed pea gumbo, but I am using a different recipe. I think you make find this one interesting as well.
Pecan Slaw
4 cups coarsely shredded cabbage
One-half cup shredded carrot
One-fourth cup sliced green onions
2 tbsp. water
One-half tsp. salt
One-fourth tsp. pepper
1 tbsp. butter, melted
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
One-fourth cup chopped pecans, toasted
In a large saucepan, combine the cabbage, carrot, green onions, water, salt and pepper. Cover and cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes or until cabbage is crisp-tender. Combine butter and mustard; pour over cabbage mixture and toss to coat. Stir in pecans.
If you're not into a nutty-type slaw, this next recipe is more of a traditional style but with a slight twist.
Cream Cole Slaw
2 cups mayonnaise
1 cup buttermilk
3 tbsp. white sugar
1 tsp. celery seed
One-half tsp. ground black pepper
2 (16 ounce) packages shredded coleslaw mix
In a large bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, buttermilk, sugar, celery seed and black pepper. Fold in the coleslaw mix, and refrigerate until serving. This tastes best if it is refrigerated for a few hours before serving.
I hope that your New Year is a fantastic one. Having money isn't everything. When it comes right down to it, the most important thing is to have people in your life that you love and love you back. Everything else takes the back burner.
May you be blessed with wonderful recipes, wonderful friends, and wonderful health are my wishes for you in the coming year.
Until next week, Happy Cooking!

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