Happy New Year everyone. We started New Year’s Day in the traditional way that we have followed for the last ten years. We have a group of friends who spend New Year’s Eve and Day together. We are a motorcycle gang. Don’t laugh. We are tougher than we look. We’ve ridden the Canadian Rockies and the Beartooth Pass, the Million Dollar Highway and the Grand Tetons. The guys have been to Sturgis. What more credentials would you need? We are also good cooks and our gatherings always include fabulous food.
The New Year’s Day menu has always been a traditional Southern spread and each of us has a specialty. Pork has to be on the menu. Pigs forage forward with their noses so eating pork represents moving forward in the new year. For years I have been making my Fall-Apart Tender Slow Roast Pork. The recipe came from Shirley Corriher. We also have collard greens and blackeyed peas which represent wealth and good luck. Barbara is the collard greens queen, but she couldn’t be with us this year so, shhh, don’t tell anyone but we fixed Glory brand canned seasoned collard greens. Jackie makes the black eyed peas and Rosa’s cornbread which is rich with butter and absolutely decadent. Rosa was David’s secretary for many years and a talented Southern cook. We always have a potato casserole and Cynthia made a rich and luscious Gouda and Asiago scalloped potato with a panko crumb crust. Karen makes wonderful coleslaw and a refreshing Pea salad. Our dessert this year was compliments of the Cheesecake Factory.
Since I am always taking pictures of food, everyone got into the act this year. This obsession is catching.
Here are few of our favorite recipes.
FALL-APART TENDER SLOW ROAST PORK (adapted from Shirley Corriher)
4 to 5 lb Pork Butt
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup apple juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place pork in pot with lid. Sprinkle pork heavily with Worcestershire sauce; turn it over and sprinkle other side heavily as well. Take handful of brown sugar and smush brown sugar crust all over meat. Turn meat over and smush brown sugar all over other side. Pour apple juice in bottom of pan, not over meat. Cover and place pot in oven. Turn oven down to 275 degrees and cook 4 hours until meat literally falls apart when you try to lift it with a fork. Break meat apart a little and push it down into drippings. Sprinkle with salt. This salt cannot be omitted; it is vital to bring out meat flavors.
SCALLOPED GOUDA-ASIAGO POTATOES (Cynthia)
3 lbs potatoes peeled and sliced
2 cups shredded Gouda cheese
1 cup shredded Asiago cheese
1 tsp garlic juice, from minced garlic jar
1/4 to 1/2 tsp nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup milk
1/2 cup heavey cream
Panko crumbs to cover top.
Layer potatoes in casserole and sprinkle each layer with salt and pepper and cheeses. Add nutmeg and garlic juice to milk and heavy cream. Pour over casserole. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour. Cover with panko crumbs and continue cooking until potatoes are tender and panko crumbs are browned and the cheese is bubbly.
ROSA’S CORN BREAD (Jackie)
2 cups Joy Brand self-rising cornmeal
1 stick of butter, melted
1/2 cup oil
3 Tbls sugar
1 cup buttermilk
In a large bowl mix corn meal, eggs, buttermilk, oil, sugar, and melted butter. Pour into a large cast iron skillet and place inside a 350 degree oven and bake for 25 minutes.
PEA SALAD (Karen)
1 can French style green beans, drained
1 can shoepeg corn, drained
1 can tiny English peas, drained
1 small jar chopped pimentoes, drained
1 medium yellow bell pepper chopped
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup vinegar
1 1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup oil
Mix vegetables in bowl. In another bowl stir together dressing until sugar is dissolved. Pour dressing over vegetables and refrigerate until ready to serve.
It is wonderful to bring in the New Year with good friends and I consider all of you good friends also. I look forward to our sharing good food and good times in 2010.