Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Years!

This year Christmas was filled with family and love...and smoked meats! My wonderful in-laws left our fridge filled with tons of smoked meat-leftovers from our Christmas eve feast, including: smoked salmon, pork, and turkey. I used the remaining salmon in a cheesy-spinach-puff pastry new years eve party appetizer. But the leftover smoked pork I hid in the back of the fridge for the special new years day black-eyed peas. I've made black-eyed peas before (and not just on new years!) using ham cubes or ham bits, but this took it to a new level - fitting to start the year out right! Beans are a magic food/fruit, cheap and wholesome, and easy too prepare. Hopefully I'll find many new ways to incorporate them into our diet in the coming year.

Black-Eyed Peas
2 cups peas, picked over** and soaked overnight
1 cup smoked pork (or ham or skip this if you want no meat)
2 onions, barely chopped
5 cloves garlic, barely chopped or smashed
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Combine and bring to simmer
Cover and cook 4 hours
Revel in how lucky you are to be eating delicious black-eyed peas

**Seriously: don't skip this step! The first time I tried to make beans in high school I did, and subsequently fed my poor pop a few pieces of bean-shapped gravel

I also made some Christmas biscotti this year. The recipe came from a Christmas cookie-baking class I attended at our local foods market. I made mine with cranberries and macadamia nuts. They kept us happy throughout the Christmas holiday week. I hope your Christmas was filled with tasty treats, and that the new year will bring you culinary excitement and joy!

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