Since I was a child it has always been a tradition of having black eyed peas and collard greens on January 1st. My southern raised grandmother would require all of us to eat until we were stuffed. The trick is the more of each you eat the more luck and money you would have in the new year. As a child it didn’t really look like the most appetizing food. However being a adult who has a birthday on New Years Eve, means I am always nursing a major hangover the next day. This meal is up to the task of soaking up all the booze from the night before. But really, what about collard greens and black eyed peas with the assistance of corn bread doesn’t scream hangover cure? It truly is the only time you can’t be judged for eating too much since the more greens you eat you should have more money in the new year and if you eat more blacked peas you should have that amount of luck for the new year.
So every year I invite those who are interested in coming over and eating as much luck and money as they possibly can. After years of traveling I have a quick way to make this meal because my head really can’t handle much more.
You will want to start with the black eyed peas, I like to use the frozen option. You can use the canned kind however you will want to drain them and rinse thoroughly as there typically is a lot of sodium in canned goods. Or if you have the time you can always do the dried method, but with a ragging hangover no one has time for that. Ok, so now you will chop one medium onion finely and usually I would add a ham hock (or two depending on how many people I am feeding) but since I am unable to find that here I use a smokey bacon or pancetta. You would need to use about a pound or so of this. You will split the bacon between the two dishes, so about 5-6 slices will suffice.Since I am in Italy this year, finding smoked pork products like in the states is difficult. In a large pot add the bacon and brown, once brown drain oil. Then add the onion and the red pepper flakes (i use about a 1/4 tsp as I am a whimp). Once onions are translucent add the bag(s) of black eyed peas, cooked bacon, 1/2 cup to 1 cup of brown sugar and cover with either water, chicken or vegetable stock and simmer for about 45 min to an hour. You will need to taste the peas for tenderness.
I usually buy the frozen greens and I like to make a mix of the collard, mustard and turnip greens to add a depth of flavor since I am cutting corners. I don’t recommend using the canned greens as they tend to take on a metallic flavor from the can. You will use the rest of the bacon so about 5-6 slices and dice them. You will brown the bacon and drain excess fat. Add some red pepper flakes (to taste) and 1 onion finely diced. Once translucent add the bags of frozen greens and about 2 cups stock and 2 tablespoons Smoked Paprika & 1/3 cup Apple Cider Vinegar. Slowly simmer for an hour or so.
While those both are simmering I make the corn bread. I really cheat and use Jiffy corn bread mix. I just say make whichever corn bread you prefer.
Once all dishes are ready yell to those it’s ready and watch everyone stumble into the kitchen still in their pj’s. You will want to have the following condiments out for people: Malt Vinegar for the greens, Hot sauce and/or Saracha just because, and Honey & Butter for the corn bread. In the past I have had fried chicken for people but that is when I feel better than I am today.
Here is a homemade Funfetti cake I made as well, Just added sprinkles to a basic white cake mix and made Butter cream frosting.
Wishing you much Luck & Money in the New Year.