Monday, February 9, 2009

First Meal of the Year

2009 - The Year of Hope

My first meal of the year was a Southern Traditional one: Pulled Pork, Collard
Greens, Hoppin' John, Jalapeno Hushpuppies.
For the pork, I started with a 7 pound Boston Butt, which my husband, Pritchard Parker bought for only $7.42 It served us meals all week. I trimmed off the excess fat, rubbed it on all sides with Spice Rub for Pork, let it sit on the counter for about an hour, then placed into the Crock Pot, with nothing else. I let it cook overnight, on low, about 16 hours in all. It smelled divine and drove our Jack Russell, Jill, nuts. It was falling apart tender, juicy, and delicious.
Spice Rub for Pork
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. granulated garlic
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. smoked paprika
Hoppin' John
1 lb. dried black-eyed peas (soaking not necessary)
1 large onion, chopped
3 (at least) large garlic cloves
1 bay leaf
3 cups cooked white rice
1 can tomatoes with green chilis (Rotel)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. salt
Sort through the black-eyed peas. You will be looking for stones, clumps of dirt, peas you don't like the looks of, or any other foreign matter. Rinse thoroughly. In a large Dutch oven, combine black-eyed peas, onion, garlic, and bay leaf. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer gently until beans are tender but not mushy, about 2 to 2 1/2 hours, adding more water if necessary. Add rice, tomatoes, salt and cumin. Simmer about 15 minutes until heated through. Serve with hot sauce, such as Texas Pete.
Jalapeno Hushpuppies
1 1/2 cups cornmeal mix
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. hot sauce
1 or 2 fresh jalapeno peppers seeded and minced
1 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk
Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl, mix and stir until well blended. Let the mixture stand while you heat about 1/4 cup oil in your big black skillet, over medium high heat. Drop batter by heaping tablespoon into the hot oil, working in batches. Brown on first side, flip and brown the other side. Drain on paper towels and keep warm in oven while you cook the remaining hushpuppies.
Collard Greens are a subject in and of themselves and will be covered in detail at another time. Stay tuned if you are a Collard fan like we are.

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