Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Years Day
 hoppin john, greens, and cornbread

new years day

Tuesday is the sweetie man's day to mind Rudy, so I actually roused myself yesterday afternoon to get my own groceries for today's dinner, and boy, Jewel was a madhouse, lines going halfway up the aisles, I got my cart in line and got checked out, and as I was pushing away from the checkout I realized that I had gotten everything to make blackeyed peas and rice except blackeyed peas. Aaaagh. But then when I went back, there weren't any blackeyed peas left. So I got black beans, so this is more moros y cristianos. I guess this year instead of prosperity we're wishing for racial harmony. Which is probably a better thing to wish for, and anyway we still have greens for cash money and cornbread for, uh, gold money, I guess. Boy that's really a lot to wish for, prosperity and cash money and gold money...

For greens:
1 lb collard greens
1 smoked ham hock

Trim and slice collard greens. Put the greens and ham hock in a small saucepan with enough water to cover when you squish down the greens pretty firmly. Do you know what I'm saying, greens shrink a lot so don't drown them. Simmer for about an hour, then fish the greens out with tongs or a spaghetti server. Elle says to save the pot liquor for soup, I think I will save that and all the ham hocks and make a ham bean soup yum yum.

For hoppin john:
olive oil
1 onion
3 ribs celery
1 poblano pepper
1 jalapeno pepper
1 lb black-eyed peas, soaked overnight and drained
6 cups water
2 smoked ham hocks
1 cup brown rice

Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Chop onions, celery, and peppers, adding them to the pan as they're chopped. Saute until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add peas, water, and ham hocks. Cover and cook over medium heat until peas are tender but still whole, about 30 minutes. (Black beans take longer to cook than blackeyed peas, by the way, more like an hour.) Add rice, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes more. Remove ham hocks.

For cornbread:
3 Tbsp butter
3/4 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 egg

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Here is my patented way to make cornbread with the least amount of dishes, first, throw the butter into a 12-inch skillet and into the oven to melt.

Stir together dry ingredients in a large bowl with a wooden spoon— do you see, you can measure the cornmeal, flour, and sugar all with the quarter cup measure. Measure the milk in a 2-cup liquid measuring cup, and whisk the egg right in the measuring cup, pour that into the dry ingredients, and stir it up with the spoon. Get the skillet out of the oven, generously brush the melted butter up the sides of the skillet as you drizzle most of the butter into the batter. Give the batter one more stir with the spoon, guide it into the skillet with the spoon and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.