New Year’s Day Feast

2012 January 4
by Jennifer

I know it’s a little late to share my New Year’s Day recipes for beans and greens but they were so dang good that they should be enjoyed year-round.

Last year we had a New Year’s Eve dinner party, but this year we invited some friends over on New Year’s Day for low-key afternoon of food and football to kick off 2012.  Not being one to forgo the opportunity to execute a tradition, I decided to serve the classic New Year’s spread with a kick.  I adapted a recipe from Southern Living, another from Cooking Light and pulled a few from the family archives. The end product was delicious.

Our menu included Hoppin’ John served over White Cheddar Cheese Grits, Collard Greens, Cornbread Muffins and brownies of course.  And as the story goes…

Black-eyed peas=good luck and money


Greens = wealth


Brownies=beach vacations, healthy happy babies, wisdom, travel, laughter, new furniture, presents, romance, a housekeeper, absolutely loving new jobs, a warmer-than-usual winter, discovering great new music, long weekends spent visiting friends, discovering new talents, finding money in your pocket, and new iPad 3s for one and all.

((And truth be told, we made everything a day in advance.  Our guests were none the wiser and likely had no idea that their host and hostess with the mostess slept until nearly 11am on New Year’s Day. Don’t judge! One of us is sleeping for two and the other is drinking for two.))

So without further ado, onto the recipes.  And please forgive the sub-par pictures–New Year’s Day food just isn’t that photogenic.

Hoppin’ John Stew

(makes 8-12 servings—leftovers are awesome)

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup chopped smoked ham
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 (15-oz.) cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
  • 5 (10-oz.) cans diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained (like Rotel)
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 teaspoon sugar $
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional but encouraged)

Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat; add ham and onion, and sauté 3 to 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in black-eyed peas and next 3 ingredients. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in cilantro. Serve over White Cheddar Cheese Grits. Top with a splash of Tabasco or Sriracha, if you like it hot. Bow chicka bow wow.

White Cheddar Cheese Grits

(makes 6-8 servings)

  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup uncooked quick-cooking grits
  • 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded white Cheddar cheese

Bring chicken broth and butter to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Gradually whisk in grits, and return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until thickened. Stir in cheese until melted. Serve immediately. (If you make these ahead, reheat on low and add milk to create desired thickness)

Collard Greens

(makes 4 1/2 cup servings)

  • 2 Canadian bacon slices
  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped small
  • 1 tablespoon canola or olive oil
  • 1 (16-oz.) package fresh collard greens, washed and trimmed (like these)
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • salt (to taste)
  • pepper

Preheat a medium pot or dutch oven and cook the Canadian bacon on medium for 2 minutes on each side. Remove the bacon from the pan, chop, and set aside. Add the oil and onion to the pot and cook on medium-high until onions have softened, about 4 minutes. Add collards in smallish batches until wilted, and cook stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until everything is wilted. Stir in the cider vinegar, maple syrup, red pepper flakes, and broth. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook partially covered, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes or to desired degree of tenderness. (And so what if your mind wanders and you forget about your simmering greens! These quite frankly can’t be overcooked.) Add the splash of balsamic vinegar and the chopped bacon to the pan, and season with salt before serving.


Honey Cornbread Muffins

(makes 12 large muffins or 24 minis)

  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk or 2%
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup honey

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Into a large bowl, mix the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, butter, and honey. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and stir until just mixed.

Place muffin paper liners in a 12-cup muffin tin. Evenly divide the cornbread mixture into the papers. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden.

Not only are these recipes supremely scrumptious, they are healthy(ish).  Well, at least the beans & greens are healthy! What better way to kick off your 2012 resolution to get the skinnies by bikini season?

Now eat up!


2 Responses
  1. January 6, 2012

    That hoppin johns looks amazing!! I bet it was great the next day! Congratulations on your baby girl!

  2. January 6, 2012

    Thanks so much, Blayne–and I’m delighted that you read my little blog! I’m an avid reader of yours and I appreciate that you speak as adoringly of Phish as you do of million dollar mansions! (I thoroughly adore both as well!)

Comments are closed.