Posted By Vicki McClure Davidson on December 31, 2010
OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW YEAR.
This past year has been a taxing struggle, a challenge of strength and spirit for so many people — hopefully, this next year will be better for everyone. For now, here are some inviting food photos to welcome in the new year… they all have a “new year” or “happy” association. Or, they just looked delicious and I felt compelled to include them.
It is believed that black-eyed peas eaten on New Year’s Day will bring good luck, so there are a number of black-eyed pea photos and recipes here, including one for the frugal Southern favorite Hoppin’ John. I figure if the tradition of eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day is suppose to bring good luck, then perhaps LOOKING at many photos of black-eyed pea dishes may also nudge over some more of that elusive luck. Why take chances?
When available, recipes will always accompany the “Fab Food Friday Fotos,” with a guarantee that at least one recipe (usually more) — most preferably a frugal recipe — will always be included in the post.
Photographer/cook peppergrass wrote about this traditional New Year’s meal, “It’s fantastic with a little Thai chili sauce,” and provided the link to the recipe and some background info on Hoppin’ John posted at What’s Cooking America:
Hoppin’ John is found in most states of the South, but it is mainly associated with the Carolinas. Gullah or Low Country cuisine reflects the cooking of the Carolinas, especially the Sea islands (a cluster of islands stretching along the coats of south Carolina and northern Georgia).
Black-eyed peas, also called cow peas, are thought to have been introduced to America by African slaves who worked the rice plantations. Hoppin’ John is a rich bean dish made of black-eyed peas simmered with spicy sausages, ham hocks, or fat pork, rice, and tomato sauce.
This African-American dish is traditionally a high point of New Year’s Day, when a shiny dime is often buried among the black-eyed peas before serving. whoever get the coin in his or her portion is assured good luck throughout the year. For maximum good luck in the new year, the first thing that should be eaten on New year’s Day is Hoppin’ John. At the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, many southern families toast each other with Champagne and a bowl of Hoppin’ John. If it is served with collard greens you might, or might not, get rich during the coming year.
There are many variations to traditional Hoppin’ John. Some cook the peas and rice in one pot, while others insist on simmering them separately.
Most food historians generally agree that “Hopping John” is an American dish with African/French/Caribbean roots. There are many tales or legends that explain how Hoppin’ John got its name:
It was the custom for children to gather in the dining room as the dish was brought forth and hop around the table before sitting down to eat.
A man named John came “a-hoppin” when his wife took the dish from the stove.
An obscure South Carolina custom was inviting a guest to eat by saying, “Hop in, John.”
The dish goes back at least as far as 1841, when, according to tradition, it was hawked in the streets of Charleston, South Carolina by a crippled black man who was know as Hoppin’ John.
Hoppin’ John Recipe
* 2 cups dried black-eyed peas
* Cold water
* 1 pound lean slab bacon or 1 pound meaty ham hocks
* 1 large onion, chopped
* 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
* 4 cups water or chicken broth
* 2 cups uncooked long-grain white rice
* Salt and black pepper to taste
Before preparing dried beans, sort through them thoroughly for tiny pebbles or other debris. Soak, rinse, and drain dried black-eyed peas. Place black-eyed peas in a large soup pot over medium-high heat and cover with cold water; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 1 to 2 hours. Drain and rinse beans.
Using the same large soup pot, over medium-high heat, add soaked black-eyed peas, bacon or ham hock, onion, and red pepper. Add water or chicken broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the peas are tender (do not boil as the beans will burst).
Remove bacon or ham hock and cut into bite-size pieces. Return meat to pot. Stir in rice, cover, and cook 20 to 25 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Makes 8 servings.
Photographer Judy Baxter wrote this about her family’s traditional New Year’s Day three-bean dish — sadly, no recipe was included. A shame, since this frugal dish looks sooo good:
Wayne and Rosalie spent 3 days preparing and cooking black-eyed peas, pinto beans, and butterbeans for our family traditional New Year’s Day meal in south Georgia. It was cooked with Smithfield ham to give a great flavor. It was served with white rice, chopped onion, several kinds of hot sauce (including Louisiana and Vietnamese hot sauce), pickled pepper rings, crackers, sweet tea, and 4 different kinds of pies: pumpkin, apple, cherry, and chocolate/peanut butter.
Photographer/bento assembler Amanda Quintana-Bowles identified the bento’s contents:
L to R: Pork bun, sugar snap peas, sliced kumquats, blueberries, wasabi almonds, and a strawberry.
Explanation and recipe link provided by photographer/baker Thom Watson:
Baked New Year’s Day, at Sonal’s house in Somerville, Massachusetts. The recipe for “Fragrant Orange and Lemon Cake” was found in Patricia Wells’ cookbook Trattoria.
Recipe for photographer/cook laura pants’ New Year’s Hoppin’ John dish is here.
Photographer robertinbeirut wrote:
Visiting shinto temples is a New Year’s tradition and the food sellers are ready for you! These hot dogs were spectacular.
Oh, my, these look positively heavenly — photographer/cook Sifu Renka provided the recipe below for Bacon Salted Caramel Pecan Bars. These would definitely be a hit at a New Year’s Eve bash, or any party, for that matter. Photographs and the recipe are also provided, with two versions of the crust (there’s a gluten-free crust recipe not included here) on the food blog Savory Sweet Life:
Bacon Salted Caramel Pecan Bars
For a recent gathering to see H&B off, I decided to make a little treat that sounded awesome and that paid a tribute to a food item little H loves (besides chocolate): bacon. I was quite certain that most present would not have tried or dare to sample such a combination, so I played the “I’ll just wait for a reaction/response before saying anything game.” Not long after, the first comment came in: “Wow. There’s something about this that’s different but it’s so good…” 🙂 Little H was first to guess what the “secret ingredient” was.
Now salted caramel may no longer be the new thing, but it appears that bacon is (albeit, I always comment that it’s not so weird candied (think Fat Duck), and it’s always nicer maple cured or when a crispy piece some how gets drenched in the maple syrup on the breakfast plate). Anyway, pig candy isn’t a new thing (I can’t remember who I mentioned that to months ago when we were speaking about newish food trends, who immediately reeled in disgust, and then seeing shortly after that this was the “new” thing at this year’s CNE), so why should bacon’s salty goodness be ignored? It cuts through the sweet caramel pecan bar and adds a certain depth in flavour. Not to mention a little chew that the sticky caramel (really goopy) doesn’t provide.
Of course, the most important question is now if the bar qualifies as breakfast food? I’m certain that a drizzle of dark chocolate would do wonders too.
INGREDIENTS FOR CRUST:
* 8 tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter
* 2/3 cup sugar
* 1 egg
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
* 1-1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
INGREDIENTS FOR BACON CARAMEL PECAN TOPPING:
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 cup light corn syrup
* 1/2 cup water
* 1 tablespoon vanilla extract *please check label for gluten-free if needed
* 1 cup heavy cream
* 1/2 cup of coarsely crumbled bacon * thick cut quality bacon is recommended
* 3 cups toasted pecans *recipe here.
* coarse sea salt
*Optional Variation: 2 tablespoons Bourbon
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl or Kitchenaid, cream butter and sugar until light. Add egg and vanilla and beat for one minute. Add baking powder and flour(s) (and xanthan gum, if preparing gluten-free) until everything is well mixed and has formed a cookie dough.
Spray a 9×13 baking pan with non-stick spray. Press cookie dough mixture evenly throughout the bottom of the pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Allow to cool.
For the topping, combine water, sugar, and corn syrup in a large sauce pan or pot. Cook over medium-high heat stirring it occasionally until sugar is completely dissolved. When the sugar/water/corn syrup mixture begins to change to an amber like color (like a dark honey) immediately turn off heat. Carefully add vanilla and heavy cream stirring (add bourbon for optional variation) until smooth and looks like caramel sauce.
Add toasted pecans and bacon stirring and coating everything. Spread bacon caramel pecan mixture over the cookie crust evenly. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or until cold. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt sparingly and cut into bars/squares. Enjoy!!
Photographer/cook Scott Andress wrote about this dish, “New Year’s breakfast – Baked egg with brie and green onion. A variation of the NY Times recipe.”
Photographer/cook Miriam Kato’s recipe for Hoppin’ John is posted at Elimination Diet by Umami, along with a recipe link for the roasted vegetables.
Making this magnificent New Year’s dessert (which has a number of different names) is not as difficult nor as expensive as it appears (although you do need cake ring forms). Info from photographer/cook Elaine Ashton:
A Danish/Norwegian wedding/New Year’s/celebration cake made from rings of almond flour/paste, sugar and egg whites. Fun to make and easier than it looks. 🙂
Kransekake / Kransekage / Krokaani / Krokan – Butter Cookie Style Recipe
Makes: one 18-ring kransekake
Time: about 1 hour for cake rings and about 25 minutes to assemble
Source: Kransekake form box
* 4 sticks or 450g butter, softened
* 1 cup or 225g almond paste, grated
* 2 cups or 4.75 dl sifted confectioners’ sugar
* 1 teaspoon almond extract
* 4 egg yolks
* 5 cups or 11.75 dl sifted flour
Preheat oven to 350F/175C. Grease forms well with butter.
Cream together butter, grated almond paste, sugar and extract until smooth. Beat yolks in well. After sifting, measure flour and add gradually, mixing until smooth.
Put dough into cookie press or pastry bag fitted with 1/2-inch (1.25cm) tip and pipe onto greased ring forms. Bake for 15 minutes or until very lightly browned. Do not remove from rings until cold.
Description of the New Year’s Day Japanese Kamaboko provided by photographer chotda:
Assorted Japanese fish cake — the pink edged one has a flying bird throughout, the white one has a tortoise, the striped one has strips of salmon flake and a basil cream cheese innard, the yellow one is part fish cake, part tamago baked egg cake.
Part of New Year’s day feasting.
Easy recipe for asparagus with a piquant mustard sauce provided by photographer/cook Curt Gibbs:
Roasted asparagus with whole grain mustard sauce. A variation of Suzanne Goin recipe from “Sunday Suppers at Lucques.”
From Goin’s cookbook:
When I was growing up, my dad and I had an ongoing asparagus arrangement: I would cut off the tips of my asparagus spears and trade them for his ends. While most asparagus eaters like the tender tips best, to this day I still prefer the fibrous-textured stalk and would happily swap tips for ends if anyone offered. In this simple first course, asparagus is grilled, then layered with prosciutto and dressed with mustard cream. I hope it’s delicious enough to disappear before your guests have a chance to debate which end is better.
NOTE You can make the whole grain mustard sauce a few hours ahead. If you don’t have a grill, roast the asparagus on a baking sheet for 5 to 7 minutes at 400 deg F.
* 1-1/4 pounds asparagus, pencil-thin variety
* 2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
* 3 T. whole grain mustard
* 1/2 c. creme fraiche
* 12 thin slices prosciutto di Parma or San Daniele
* 1/2 lemon, for juicing
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Light the grill 30 to 40 minutes before you’re ready to cook.
Snap the ends of the asparagus to remove the tough woody portion. Toss the asparagus on a baking sheet with the olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and some pepper.
Stir the mustard and creme fraiche together in a small bowl, and set aside.
When the coals are broken down, red, and glowing, drape the prosciutto over a platter. Grill the asparagus 2 to 3 minutes, until slightly charred and tender.
Arrange the asparagus on the prosciutto and drizzle the mustard creme fraishe over the top.
The recipe for this New Year’s Luck Black-Eyed Pea Salad is also posted, with accompanying photos, on the Indiana Public Media website:
New Year’s Luck Black-Eyed Pea Salad Recipe
* 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 2 tablespoons lemon juice (plus a teaspoon of the grated zest)
* 1 teaspoon minced garlic
* freshly ground pepper to taste
* 4 cups peeled and diced cucumbers
* 1 14-ounce can black-eyed peas, rinsed
* 2/3 cup diced red bell pepper
* 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
* 1/4 cup slivered red onion
* 2 tablespoons chopped black olives
* ¼ cup toasted walnuts
* A big handful of herbs such as mint, cilantro, parsley and scallions – roughly chopped
1. Whisk oil, lemon juice and zest, garlic and pepper in a large bowl until combined.
2. Add cucumber, black-eyed peas, bell pepper, feta, onion and olives.
3. Toss to coat.
4. Just before serving add the herbs.
5. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
The toast varieties include cinnamon toast, peanut butter toast, cheese toast, Maine blackberry jam toast, and apple butter toast. The Wilkins wrote this explanation for all the toast on New Year’s Eve:
We started a new tradition this year on New Year’s Eve morning…. we decided that we are going to make it our tradition to have lots of toast for breakfast on New Year’s Eve morning….. that way, we start the day with toast, and end the day with a toast! 🙂
Background info on the squash pan rolls from photographer / cook iamos:
I modified the recipe by (a) messing up, adding 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbs. sugar to the milk instead of 2 Tbs. (because I was tripling the recipe, I’d scrawled the new amounts next to the old–too sloppily, it turns out: the 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbs. was supposed to be the amount of butter). I was able to pour the milk off into another container and dump most of the sugar that hadn’t yet dissolved, but these may nevertheless come out too sweet. I was trying to replace about 1/4 of the white sugar with light brown sugar, but that was the last sugar I added, and therefore it was probably most of what I removed.
I also (b) added about half a cup of flaxseed meal, because I was afraid I’d run out of flour (tripling the recipe required about 11 cups, or most of a 5-pound bag), and because I like it. I would have added some whole wheat flour, if I’d had it, but I don’t keep the stuff around because it goes rancid so fast and there’s never enough room in my freezer for a bag of flour.
And (c) I got confused at some point when I was dividing chunks of dough, so I ended up with one pan of lots of really small rolls. Those’ll be for all those Atkins people and the women who say, “I’ll just have a half of one.”
If they look light, that’s because they’ll need to be reheated tomorrow for about 10 minutes at 350ºF.
I hope they’re tasty; the reviews on Epicurious were mostly positive, but there were a few dissenters.
What a crack-up… an amusing, smiling blueberry coffee cake. Gives a visual punch to the “happy” part of “happy New Year.”
As do these last two “happy-smiley” food photos…
“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”
~~ Edith Lovejoy Pierce
“Another fresh new year is here…
Another year to live!
To banish worry, doubt, and fear,
To love and laugh and give!
This bright new year is given me
To live each day with zest…
To daily grow and try to be
My highest and my best!
I have the opportunity
Once more to right some wrongs,
To pray for peace, to plant a tree,
And sing more joyful songs!”
~~ William Arthur Ward
Happy New Year!
Food photos selected and posted are credited and have Creative Commons-licensed content with some rights reserved for noncommercial purposes, unless otherwise noted.
Previous Fab Food Friday Fotos posts: