Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Our Best Southern New Year's Day Recipes

Happy New Year to you and yours, from the Carolina Sauce Company! May 2014 bring you much happiness, good health, prosperity, peace, love and plenty of zesty eats.

In the spirit of the day, we're sharing some of our best recipes for New Year's Day, inspired by traditional Southern foods that are believed to bring good luck in the coming year if eaten on January 1st. Beneath the number-coded photo collage below, you'll find the corresponding recipe links. Those marked with (V) are vegetarian/vegan or have a vegetarian/vegan option included.

1. Crock Pot Hoppin’ John: A Southern favorite featuring black-eyed peas, which some say symbolize coins. Usually cooked in a large pot on the stove, my version is made in a slow cooker or crock pot to keep your stove free for other recipes.

2. Smoky Spicy Black-Eyed Peas Chili (V): Inspired by Hoppin' John but with a Tex-Mex twist, this meatless chili gets its smoky heat from chipotle hot sauce. You can add browned ground meat if you are not a vegetarian, but I recommend you increase the spices and seasonings if you do so.

3. Chipotle-Bacon Black-Eyed Peas: Basically a traditional Hoppin' John but made with bacon rather than hog jowls or ham hocks, and spicier with a rich, earthy flavor from chipotles.

4. Greens w/ Roasted Garlic & Fatback: A zesty, garlic-rich variation on an old Southern favorite usually made with collard greens on New Year's Day because collards are said to represent paper money and thus bring prosperity. You can use any kind of greens, even spinach. And you can substitute guanciale (hog jowls), pancetta or bacon for the fatback.

5. Lemony Collards w/ Radishes & Spring Onions (V):  This is a much healthier, lighter and lower-fat way to enjoy collard greens (or other greens) without sacrificing flavor or breaking a New Year's resolution related to weight, diet or healthy eating.

6. Southern-style Collards with Fatback: As you might guess from the fatback mentioned in the name of this recipe, this isn't a low-fat dish. It's soul food, not "health food." If you're looking for a traditional southern recipe for collard greens, this is the one for you.

7. Whole-Grain Buttermilk Cornbread (V): Based on a classic recipe for old-fashioned buttermilk cornbread, but made with whole wheat flour along with stone-ground cornmeal (which is a whole grain) and corn kernels. Delicious and healthy!

8. Ancho Chile & Cheddar Cornbread (V): A rich, cheesy cornbread with peppery southwestern flair from dried ancho chili peppers.

9. Bacon PepperJack Cornbread: Created because bacon makes everything better! This award-winning recipe has just a touch of feisty peppery bite, kept in check by ooey-gooey cheese. And did I mention that this cornbread recipe has BACON??

You'll find more recipes for celebrating the start of a new year on our Christmas & New Year's Recipes board on Pinterest.

What are your favorite New Year's Day foods? Tell us in a comment below.

Zestfully yours,

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