Food for a Lucky New Year: Greens & Black-Eyed Peas

Some say the greens represent dollar bills and the peas represent coins, ensuring wealth and luck. Try our recipes for these classic New Year's meals to ensure you too have a prosperous new year!

Greens and Black-Eyed PeasGreens and Black-Eyed Peas
New Year's Tradition
According to folklore, this auspicious New Year's Day tradition dates back to the Civil War when Union troops pillaged the land, leaving behind only black-eyed peas and greens as animal fodder. Rich in nutrients, these were the humble foods that enabled Southerners to survive. Details of stories differ, but each celebrates a communion of family and friends bound by grateful hearts and renewed hope for good things yet to come.

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Southern-Style Collard GreensSouthern-Style Collard Greens
Southern-Style Collard Greens

12 hickory-smoked bacon slices, finely chopped
2 medium-size sweet onions, finely chopped
3/4 pound smoked ham, chopped
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 (32-oz.) containers chicken broth
3 (1-lb.) packages fresh collard greens, washed and trimmed
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. pepper

Cook bacon in a 10-qt. stockpot over medium heat 10 to 12 minutes or until almost crisp. Add onion, and sauté 8 minutes; add ham and garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Stir in broth and remaining ingredients. Cook 2 hours or to desired degree of tenderness.

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Chili-Roasted Black Eyed PeasChili-Roasted Black Eyed Peas
Chili-Roasted Black Eyed Peas

2 (15.8-oz.) cans black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. pepper
3/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 425°. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Transfer mixture to a lightly greased 17- x 12-inch jelly-roll pan. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until crispy and dry, stirring every 10 minutes. Let cool 20 minutes.

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Pot Likker SoupPot Likker Soup
Pot Likker Soup

2 (1-lb.) smoked ham hocks
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, diced
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. dried crushed red pepper
1 (14.5-oz.) can vegetable broth
1/2 (16-oz.) package fresh collard greens, washed and trimmed
Cornbread Croutons

Bring ham hocks and 8 cups water to a boil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Boil 5 minutes; drain. Reserve hocks; wipe Dutch oven clean.

Sauté onion and carrot in hot oil in Dutch oven over medium heat 4 to 5 minutes or until tender; add garlic, and cook 1 minutes. Add wine; cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes or until wine is reduced by half. Add hocks, 8 cups water, salt, and crushed red pepper to onion mixture, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 3 hours or until ham hocks are tender.

Remove hocks, and let cool 30 minutes. Remove meat from bones; discard bones. Transfer meat to an airtight container; cover and chill. Cover Dutch oven with lid, and chill soup 8 hours.

Skim and discard fat from soup in Dutch oven. Stir in meat and vegetable broth. Bring mixture to a boil. Gradually stir in collards. Reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 45 to 50 minutes or until collards are tender. Serve with Cornbread Croutons.

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Lucky Black-Eyed Pea SaladLucky Black-Eyed Pea Salad
Lucky Black-Eyed Pea Salad

1 (16-oz.) package frozen black-eyed peas
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup red pepper jelly
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1/3 cup diced red onion
2 large fresh peaches, peeled and diced
2 cups torn watercress

Prepare peas according to package directions, simmering only until al dente; drain and let cool 1 hour.

Whisk together cilantro and next 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Add cooked black-eyed peas, bell pepper, and onion, tossing to coat; cover and chill 8 hours. Stir peaches and watercress into pea mixture just before serving.

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