A New Year’s Meal

My mom and brother came up to celebrate a late Christmas with us in Georgia, but since they are leaving New Year’s day, I fixed my traditional New Year’s meal two days early.

For me, a New Year’s meal means ham, collard greens, black eyed peas and cornbread. And then I add whatever else I’m in the mood for – which this year meant we had green beans and mac and cheese. Talk about a feast! Most times I use hog jowl or salt pork, but this year I lucked out with my hubby picking up some house-smoked bacon from a local butcher shop and so half of my dishes were laden with bacon. Nothin’ wrong with that. Most of these recipes are just a few ingredients and pretty simple. It’s a mission to make it all, but well worth it when you sit down eat.

New Year’s Menu:

Ham with Honey Mustard Glaze
Southern Style Green Beans
Collard Greens
Black Eyed Peas
5 Cheese Mac and Cheese
Buttermilk Cornbread

New Years Plate
And that, my friends, is a happy plate.

Honey Mustard Glaze for Ham

2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
2 tbsp yellow mustard

1.) Over medium heat in a small saucepan, combine all ingredients and heat until it starts to bubble.
2.) Remove from heat and pour the glaze over a fully heated ham. Place ham back in the oven and cook for 15 minutes.

Honey Mustard

Southern Style Green Beans

2 lbs fresh green beans, ends snapped off and snapped into 1″ to 2″ pieces
1/2 cup bacon, chopped (or you could sub with hog jowl or salt pork)
1/2 medium sized onion, diced
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tbsp sugar

1.) Add green beans to a large pot and fill with enough water to just cover the beans.
2.) Add bacon, onion, salt, pepper and sugar and heat to boil. Reduce heat to medium low (or until it reaches a low simmer) and cook uncovered for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Most of the water should be gone by the time they are done cooking.
3.) Taste beans and adjust salt, pepper and sugar to your liking.

Green Beans uncooked

Green Beans
I forgot to take a picture of the cooked beans in the pot. And now I’ve eaten them all. Oh well, a super-cropped image from the plate shot will have to do.

Collard Greens
3 tbsp butter (I used reserved bacon grease from breakfast – highly recommend)
1 onion, diced
1/2 cup bacon, chopped (or you could sub with hog jowl or salt pork)
2 lbs collard greens
5 cups water
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1.) In a large pot, heat butter and add onions to sauté. Add bacon and cook until onions are translucent. You don’t want the bacon to get crispy here.
2.) Add collards and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add water, salt, pepper, sugar and vinegar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer with the lid on.
3.) Cook for 1.5 to 2 hours or until they are as done as you’d like, and stir occasionally. Taste and adjust as needed.

Collards uncooked

Collards cooking

Collard Greens

Black Eyed Peas

1 lb dry black eyed peas, quick soaked (according to package)
6 cups water
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 cup bacon, chopped (or you could sub with hog jowl or salt pork)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

1.) Place all ingredients in a large pot and heat to boil. Reduce heat and simmer with a lid slightly cracked for 1.5 to 2 hours. Do not stir often, as it will break the peas.

Black Eyed Peas

5 Cheese Macaroni and Cheese

1 16-oz box pasta (elbows or rotini work well), cooked according to package
1 cup shredded white cheddar
1 cup shredded gruyere
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup shredded yellow cheddar (divided)
1 cup shredded Parmesan
1 12-oz can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cup whole milk
1 stick of butter, melted
1 tsp salt

1.) Add all ingredients (except 1/2 cup of yellow cheddar) to a crock pot and mix well.
2.) Cook on low for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Add remaining cheese to top and cook until melted.

Mac n cheese uncooked

Mac n cheese

Adapted from About.com’s Crockpot Macaroni and Cheese

Buttermilk Cornbread

Recipe found here. 

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Pot Roast with Mashed Potatoes and Cornbread

Pot roast. Umm. One of my favorite fall/winter dishes. It is the epitome of a Sunday meal. This beauty cooks low and slow and fills my house with one of the best smells to come out of an oven. I used to make this with carrots and potatoes cooking along side the meat, but decided to make this with just carrots since I prefer mashed potatoes.  So I made Thanksgiving-quaility whipped potatoes so that every forkful could be a heap and potatoes and a piece of tender meat. Yum, yum, yum. And when I make a pot roast, I have to make some buttermilk cornbread. Have to. The way I eat this (it may sound weird, but just hear me out) is to put my cornbread in a bowl and pour the beef broth from the pot roast over it. I soak it. There is something about those two together that is just perfection. Enjoy!

Pot roast with mashed potatoes and carrots

Pot Roast

2 1/2 lb chuck roast
Salt, pepper, onion powder
2 tbsp oil
1 large sweet onion, cut into 8 large chunks
3 celery stalks, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 cups beef stock
1 tsp dried thyme
4 bay leaves
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 lb bag of baby carrots

1.) Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Liberally season chuck roast with salt, pepper and onion powder. Heat oil in large dutch oven over high heat.
2.) Sear each side of roast. Add onions and celery to pan around meat. Deglaze the pan with beef stock. Add thyme, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Cover pot and place in oven. Bake for 2 hours. Set carrots out so they are not cold when you add them later.
3.) Remove pot from the oven and add carrots. Bake for an additional 2 hours (or until carrots are done).

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Mashed Potatoes

2 to 2 1/2 lbs potatoes, peeled and cubed (I used large red)
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup half and half (plus more to achieve desired consistency)
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp pepper

1.) Boil potatoes for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until you can easily insert a fork into them. Strain and return to pot.
2.) Add butter, half and half, sour cream, cheese, salt, garlic powder and pepper and whip with an electric mixer until completely smooth.
3.) Taste and add more half and half/sour cream/cheese/salt/garlic powder as needed. I rarely measure, I start by adding roughly the above amounts and then taste, and usually add a little more.

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Buttermilk Cornbread

1 3/4 cup self-rising cornmeal
1 3/4 cup buttermilk
4 tbsp butter, melted
2 tbsp + 1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg

1.) Add 2 tbsp oil to a cast iron skillet and swirl around the pan. Set oven to 450 degrees and place skillet in the oven to heat the oil as the oven preheats.
2.) In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine cornmeal, buttermilk, butter, vegetable oil and egg. Stir well until fully incorporated.
3.) Pour batter into hot skillet and return to oven. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes, or until top is golden brown.
4.) Placing a plate on top of the skillet, delicately turn skillet over to transfer cornbread without breaking.

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