Monday, January 02, 2006

New Year's Dinner Recipe & Photo Swap

Happy New Year to all! This was our New Year's meal which I decided to submit to Melissa Cooking Diva's Dinner Recipe & Photo Swap. The menu was--

Black Eyed Peas (with a splash of hot sauce)
Fried Okra
Baked Uncured Ham
Cornbread (with Honey Butter)

These are all foods we love at anytime of the year but we always have the Black Eyed Peas on January 1st. We must! It is tradition! It was a great meal. The cornbread doubled as dessert for me since I topped it with honey butter. (Must admit I used a mix for the cornbread this time). I think DH did sneak back in for some cool creamy rice pudding made earlier.
This is the center of our traditional New Year's meal. I have prepared it many different ways over the years, including a version call "Hoppin John". These were prepared quite simply just using a package of dried Black Eyed Peas according to package directions using the quick soak method. Basically, you can soak the peas overnight and drain or boil them for a couple of minutes & let them set for an hour drain and cook with your seasonings. After draining & rinsing the "quick soaked" peas I browned about a cup of purple onion, one shallot, one diced carrot, and about a cup of diced sweet red, yellow and orange peppers in a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. After these were brown, I added the peas back to the pot along with about 6 to 7 cups of water. Salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for a couple of hours. I like to use chicken stock for the liquid sometimes but it tends to be salty so I opted for water. To give it the nice thick consistency you can take out about a cup of the peas, mash them and add them back to the pot. After they are plated we add a splash of hot sauce.
We love okra any time of the year but I decided on having it with this meal to satisfy the "green" requirement of a traditional New Year's meal. We have okra in our summer garden so it was fun to use something that was homegrown. You don't need to slice the okra but I did. I used about 3/4 pound of okra (you can find it frozen--use sliced or not). Since the okra was frozen I simply rinsed it in a colander placed it in a plastic container and added about 3/4 cup of cornmeal I had seasoned with 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp. salt and black pepper to taste. Use more or less of those seasonings to suit you. Shook all of the mixture up in the container and add carefully to a pan of hot oil. Fry it until it is as brown as you like. Drain on paper towels. I will post one of our favorites in the future--Okra Salad--yum!
The ham on the menu was delicious. It was an uncured ham (no nitrates, etc.) that I found at Costco. There will be no waste to it . It is all "ham". The only preparation I did was wrapping it in foil and baking it at 375 degrees for about an hour. It was great for dinner and will make good sandwiches and breakfasts too! Ham is traditional at the holidays for us. Sometimes cooked in the Black Eyed Peas. Very traditional would be to use a ham hock in the cooking of the peas.
Thanks to all who have visited my blog. I hope to have some flavorful posts in 2006. Thanks to all who gave their vote to "Granita". A great looking cupcake won. Happy New Year to all and please visit again.



Blogger Melissa CookingDiva said...

Everything looks beautiful and delicious! Thank you for participating. Happy New Year and hugs from Panama :)

02 January, 2006 10:59  
Blogger valentina said...

Hi Fran, I've come here to say thank you for visiting me. What a wonderful surprise to see this beautiful menu - I love cornmeal, okra..I HAVE to prepare it. And will definitely come back.Happy New Year.

02 January, 2006 11:25  
Anonymous paz said...

Yum! What I'd give to be at your table! What a nice way to celebrate the New Year's!

Happy New Years,

02 January, 2006 18:32  
Blogger ScaryShari said...

Hi Fran and happy new year! :) Sorry your granita recipe didn't win. I voted at least once and maybe even twice (I'm not sure if it "took"). Your appetizing photo alone deserved the extra vote!

Of course, the muffin/cupcake that won also looked very appetizing. Unfortunately the recipe itself wasn't -- I have to stay away from sugar substitutes like Splenda or NutraSweet. They all give me... well... let's just say don't agree with my digestive system! *blush*

Your fried okra looks and sounds delicious! I think I'm the only person in my family who likes okra, but I might see if I can "convert" the others with your recipe. ;)

Since you grow okra in the garden, you probably know what most people don't -- what the okra flower looks like! Isn't it beautiful? To me it resembles a small hibiscus or a mallow, which isn't surprising, seeing as they're all in the same family. (Hollyhocks too!) But you probably knew that also. :D

Enough horticultural rambling from me! (Sorry, I got a little excited). I hope you have a wonderful 2006!

Shari in Cali.

02 January, 2006 20:52  
Blogger sailu said...

Fran,that's a wonderful new year's dinner menu.My mouth's watering..the food looks soooo delicious..:)

02 January, 2006 21:22  
Blogger Ruth said...

Fran, everything looks wonderful. Have a fabulous 2006.

03 January, 2006 07:40  
Blogger Ghone said...

How did you get the groovy hexagonal pattern on the piggy?
More unusual meat photos please!

03 January, 2006 11:02  
Blogger milgwimper said...


The diner menu looks wonderful. I am too sorry your granita did not win, but you have some people who really enjoy it so much so I think they have gone lemon granity crazy!


We love okra here too, and I hope you can convert your family into liking them. :)

03 January, 2006 15:58  
Blogger Fran said...

Melissa-Thank you for giving all of us a "showcase".

Valentina-Welcome. I just love okra anyway it is prepared.

Shari-Thanks for the vote. I agree w/u about sugar subs. Rather have just a little of the "real" stuff or nothing. You are so right about the okra plant. It resembles a beautiful yellow hibiscus. Don't worry-I love the horticulture stuff-1 degree in that department!

Sailu-Thank you. Love visiting your site.

Ruth-Thanks so much. Happy 2006 to you & yours.
Mil-Thank you. I intend to keep making & enjoying many versions of Granita! It's a winner at my house!

Ghone--Fortunately, the oinker came from Costco with that lovely pattern. I suspect it was originally in a net when it was being "non-cured".

Thanks to all who have visited. Looking forward to visiting your sites and reading all you post with great interest. Have a wonderful 2006!

03 January, 2006 19:29  
Blogger Erin S. said...

Hi Fran--
Just wanted to say thanks for the info on pie crust and your kind comments about my website. Will let you know when I try your crust recipe.

03 January, 2006 22:48  
Anonymous Lera said...

Fran, happy New year! Your blog looks Awesome and so colourful!

04 January, 2006 08:07  
Blogger Typical INgredients said...

Hi Fran,

I just browsing around! You're meal is really good! Black Eye pea and okra -oh my gosh to die for! They are one of my favorite...

04 January, 2006 10:48  
Blogger Fanny said...

Hi Fran your blog is becoming more and more delicious each day. Please keep posting !!!

You ham looks so so so yummy.


04 January, 2006 13:30  
Blogger Fanny said...

Voted for you by the way...

04 January, 2006 13:34  
Blogger J said...

hi fran, everything looks so delectable; thank you so much for sharing what must have been an utterly fabulous meal!

07 January, 2006 03:51  
Anonymous lisa--in a nutshell said...

Fran--The okra looks really good! I'm eagerly awaiting the okra salad!

16 January, 2006 21:43  
Anonymous Susan said...

That ham looks great. Do you remember what brand it was? There are a few at my Costco.

20 February, 2006 14:20  
Blogger Fran said...

Hi Susan--No, I don't remember the brand but it was uncured & I think it was from Canada. It was really good. Not overly salty and very little fat--no waste. Thanks for stopping by.

20 February, 2006 14:49  

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