Here’s to a great 2008!

Happy New Year! Did you have your black-eyed peas and greens to ensure good luck for the new year? It’s not too late.

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I don’t really care much for the flavor of plain black-eyed peas, but some spices and bacon can fix ’em right up.

.Savory Black-Eye Peas with Bacon.
From the classic Betty Crocker cookbook

:: 4 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces (delicious peppered bacon from PD&H Farms)
:: 2 1/2 c chicken broth (I used veggie broth)
:: 1 cup dried black-eyed peas, sorted and rinsed
:: 2 medium stalks celery, sliced
:: 1 large onion, chopped
:: 1 1/2 T chopped fresh or 1.5 t dried savory leaves (I used oregano and thyme)
:: 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
:: 3 medium carrots, thinly sliced
:: 1 large green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
:: 1/2 c shredded Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeño peppers (I forgot about this step and it was still good)

1. Cook bacon in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp. Remove bacon with slotted spoon; drain. Drain fat from skillet.
2. Heat broth, black-eyed peas, celery, onion, savory spices, and garlic to boiling in same skillet. Boil uncovered 2 minutes; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until peas are almost tender (do not boil or peas will fall apart).
3. Stir in carrots and bell pepper. Heat to simmering. Cover and simmer about 13 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender; stir. Sprinkle with cheese and bacon.

While the black-eyed peas were simmering, I made…what else? Corn bread and greens!

.Corn Bread.
Also from Betty Crocker

:: 1 c milk (I used 1/2 c milk and 1/2 c cream corn)
:: 1/4 c butter
:: 1 large egg
:: 1 1/4 c yellow, white, or blue cornmeal (I prefer the texture of coarse stone ground meal.)
:: 1 c all-purpose flour
:: 1/2 c sugar
:: 1 T baking powder
:: 1/2 teaspoon

1. Heat oven to 400˚. Grease bottom and side of round pan, 9 x 1 1/2 inches, or square pan, 8x8x2 inches with shortening.
2. Beat milk, butter, and egg in large bowl with hand beater or wire whisk. Stir in remaining ingredients all at once just until flour is moistened (batter will be lumpy). Pour into pan.
3. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

We got some collard greens from High Tides and Green Fields in the December co-op order.

There’s a common ingredient in this meal: bacon. Baaaaaa-con. That tempting umami.

I used this Food Network recipe for the collard greens. I substituted peppered bacon for the Canadian bacon (swiftly removing that “Healthy Appetite” designation by FN) since I had some left from the black-eyed pea dish. The maple syrup, cider vinegar, onions, and red pepper flakes add so much flavor to the greens that I might try it without the bacon next time. They were delicious!

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