Sunday, January 2, 2011

new year's day - creole hoppin' john with collard greens and prosciutto

I grew up in Alabama, where it's customary to eat black-eyed peas, collard greens, and pork on New Year's Day to bring good luck and wealth in the new year. Since it's also a healthy and delicious meal, I decided to bring the tradition to Portland this year. I made a recipe for creole hoppin' john from Bryant Terry's Vegan Soul Kitchen cookbook, which was printed in The Oregonian this week. I found fresh black-eyed peas in the produce department of the supermarket, so I used those instead of the dried peas called for in the recipe. I made sautéed collard greens with prosciutto loosely based on this pasta recipe from The New York Times. Overall, it was a delicious meal, and I hope it brings good health and wealth to you and yours this year. Happy new year!

Creole Hoppin' John

1/2 cup brown rice, rinsed
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 cup finely diced shallots
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 pint jar or 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
2 cups fresh black-eyed peas, rinsed
Freshly ground black pepper

Add the rice to a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until the water has evaporated and the rice starts smelling nutty. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and continue cooking until the rice starts browning, about 2 minutes.

To the rice, add the shallots, garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, red pepper flakes, cayenne, thyme, oregano, and remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the shallots are soft, about 3 minutes. Transfer this mixture to a bowl and set aside.

In the same saucepan over medium heat, combine the chicken or vegetable broth, tomatoes, and salt and bring to a boil. Add the rice mixture and the black-eyed peas to the broth and stir well. Bring back to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low and cook for 40 minutes, until most of the water has evaporated and the rice is tender.

Remove from the heat and steam with the cover on for at least 10 minutes. Season to taste with pepper.

Makes 4 servings.

Sautéed Collard Greens and Prosciutto

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 thin slices prosciutto, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch collard greens, stems removed and discarded, leaves rinsed and sliced
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add prosciutto and cook until just beginning to brown. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the collard greens and cook, stirring occassionally, about seven minutes or until the greens are wilted and tender. Stir in the vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Makes 2 servings.

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