Thursday, January 26, 2012

New Year's Day Feast

On this past new year's day, at the expansive countryside manse of Chris Winslow and his lovely Princess Di, our traditional good luck brunch was intensively planned and executed. All of the dishes are designed to provide fortune and luck in the coming year, based on Southern tradition, which was based on European traditions. Good luck foods are ubiquitous worldwide (see my 2008 Austin Chronicle article on the same here:, and our thought has always been, "It can't hurt!...and what if it really works!".

We started with a big platter of massive jalapeño chiles that Di stuffed with a pork and monty jack cheese mixture, wrapped in bacon, and then grilled outside. Green chiles for money, pork and bacon for abundance, yellow cheese for gold.

On the main stage was black eyed peas, in this case, cooked in a crock pot, using a leftover ham bone, seasoned with onion, lots of garlic, and a touch of celery and carrot. Fantastic BEP's and the luckiest of Southern dishes.

Next came the collard greens, minutes from the Winslow garden, cooked with onion, garlic, bacon, chicken stock, Balsamic vinegar, and a touch of sugar and crushed red pepper.Nothing is better than that potlikker slathered all over a chunk of cornbread.Greens for money.

Speaking of cornbread, I made a couple of pans of my famous mile-high cornbread,amended with onion, garlic, corn, roasted poblano chiles, and some Monty jack on top, cooked in my cast iron pans that are used for nothing else. Cornbread for gold.

The main course was a host of grilled pork sausages that CBoy cooked outside on the grill, and there were assorted mustards and chutneys, and the like to dress them with. Pork for prosperity!

After that was a spice cake that Jules and Di made, oozing with frosting. Not specifically a good luck dish, but a perfect finish to the meal. We also had a sparkling wine taste-off, between Gruet Blanc de Noirs ($14), Segura Viudas Heredad ($20), and Anna de Cordíniu Brut ($12) and the Anna de Cordíniu Brut blew the other two out of the water, and cost the least. Gotta love those cavas from Penedés!

With that much good luck under my belt, hopefully this year will be a cakewalk!

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