Black-Eyed Peas Are More Than Just Fergie

Texas Caviar from Fresh Approach In Texas they have a wonderful New Year’s Eve tradition of serving black-eyed peas, they say that eating them will ensure a happy and prosperous new year. The peas are most often dished up as Texas caviar, a salad that uses apple cider vinegar, chilis and sweet peppers. Fresh Approach Cooking has a great recipe (pictured), using speck. What the heck is speck?

Speck is a juniper-flavoured ham that is cured and cold-smoked, then matured for five months. It is the most revered and prominent ingredient of the Alto Adige region of Italy, an area that is influenced by its German neighbours.

Of course there are other ways to incorporate some black-eyed peas into your New Year’s Eve dinner. They are great in succotash, that classic fry up of corn, red pepper and lima beans. Then there is the Southern classic, Hoppin’ John, in which they are cooked with a smoked ham hock and served over rice. According to Wikipedia, any leftover Hoppin’ John is referred to as Skippin’ Jenny the next day. Cooking Light has a great recipe that incorporates kale.

Sorry to be suggesting so much pork, obviously these dishes are all great vegan options if the meat is omitted. One of the best vegan recipes we’ve tried is this one for pea and quinoa croquettes from Vegan With a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.

Whatever you’re serving for dinner, we hope you enjoy it with the people who matter the most to you. Get ready to pop the cork and pucker up for your New Year’s Eve kiss! Happy New Year everyone. See you in 2010.

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