Happy new year to all of you. New Year's Eve is my favorite holiday, filled with gratitude for surviving and hopes for a better year, not to mention the wonderful combination of good friends and lots of booze. The Tippler likes to ring in the new year with the southern tradition of Blackeye Peas. Here's how I make 'em.
1 sack of dry Black eye peas
1 large onion, diced
3 or 4 slices of smoked Hog Jowl
1 Ham Hock
1 clove of Garlic
a dash of Cayenne
a dash of Smoked Paprika
Soak the peas overnight. In the morning, fry the Jowl until translucent. Toss in the diced onion and saute until translucent. Add pepper, spices and garlic. Add beans and water. Bring this to a boil, skimming off any foam. When it begins to boil, add the ham hock and turn the heat down low. Let this simmer slowly throughout the day and until guests arrive filling our hoe with the rich smell of smokey, black eye peas. It is also traditional to cook a pot of rice to mix in with the beans making "Hopping John."
This dish is said to bring luck in the coming year though this has never been my experience. It does bring warmth and enjoyment to your get together and is best served with good Bourbon or Rye. A late solid bit of food helps soak up some of that booze which by later in the evening you've probably had plenty of. Happy new year to all, may the coming year bring you new and wonderful culinary discoveries and delights!