Easy Recipes for a Traditional New Year’s Day Menu: Ham, Black-eye Peas, Cabbage

Easy Recipes for a Traditional New Year’s Day Menu: Ham, Black-eye Peas, Cabbage

Eat poor that day; eat rich the rest of the year. Rice for riches and peas for peace.

Black-eyed peas bring good luck in the coming year. The cabbage, or any other greens for that matter, ensures prosperity, and the ham (or any cut of pork) symbolized health. (I guess no one cared about fat and cholesterol back then.)


Black-eyed Pea Jambalaya
Makes 10 to 12 servings

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 pound smoked sausage, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices

1/2 pound cubed ham

1 cup chopped onions

1/2 cup chopped green bell peppers

2 (15-ounce) cans black-eyed peas with jalapenos

1 (14-ounce) can beef broth

Salt and cayenne to taste

8 cups cooked rice

1/4 cup chopped green onions

Heat oil in large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add sausage, ham, onions and bell peppers. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are golden, about 8 minutes.

Add the peas and beef broth and reduce the heat to medium-low. Season with salt and cayenne. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.

Add the rice, a little at a time, and gently stir to mix. The mixture should be moist but not soggy. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the green onions and serve warm.


Mama’s Glorified Cabbage
Makes about 8 servings

1 large cabbage head, cored and chopped

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions

1/2 cup chopped green bell peppers

1/4 cup chopped celery

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

4 slices white bread, toasted, soaked in a little milk, and then squeezed dry

1/2 pint heavy cream

1 stick butter

Salt and cayenne to taste

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves

1/2 pound mild Cheddar cheese, grated

1/4 cup dried fine breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Boil cabbage in water until just tender. Drain and set aside.

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, bell peppers, celery and garlic. Cook, stirring, until soft and lightly golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Add cabbage and reduce heat to medium-low and cook, covered, until very tender, about 10 minutes.

Tear bread slices into bits and add to pot. Add cream and butter and cook, stirring to mix, until the butter is melted, about five minutes. Season with salt and cayenne. Add parsley and stir to mix.

Transfer the mixture to a large casserole dish. Sprinkle evenly with cheese and breadcrumbs.

Bake until bubbly and hot, 20 to 30 minutes.


Baked Ham
Makes 10 to 12 servings

1 bone-in ham, 8 to 10 pounds

3/4 cup dark brown sugar

3 teaspoons dry mustard

1 cup cooking sherry, cola or pineapple juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Trim off excess fat. Score ham’s surface into diamond-shaped pattern. Combine sugar and dry mustard and stir to blend, and then rub the mixture over ham. Wrap ham loosely in foil and pour in whatever liquid you choose. Close the foil and bake for 20 minutes per pound.

Remove from oven and unwrap the ham. Let it sit for a few minutes before slicing to serve.

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1 Comment

  1. Anchor Cottage

    January 1, 2017 at 8:34 am

    Sounds like a southern tradition!

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