Black-Eye Peas For Good Fortune
Being from the Philippines, I am no stranger to myth and superstition, as well as unique and sometimes weird practices come the New Year. For example, Filipinos and others fill a basket of different round fruits to put on the dinner table on New Year’s eve, or to open all windows at the strike of midnight as a way to banish the bad luck and to welcome good luck in the coming year.
In the American South, a plate of black-eye peas is believed to bring good fortune for the New Year. With the additon of greens (the color of money), the dish is considered auspicious and will bring about wealth and prosperity. It is traditionally eaten on the first day of the year.
So to you all, Happy New Year. May this recipe bring you joy, goodness and an abundance of good luck!
1/2 lb black-eye peas, soaked overnight
1/4 lb smoked slab bacon cut into small pieces
1 large onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp allspice
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsps Olive oil
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
2 tbsps fish sauce
4 cups collard greens, cut into 1-inch ribbons (can be substituted with baby spinach)
1/3 cup green onions, chopped, for garnish
Place drained peas in a large pot. Add meat and cover with 5 cups water. Place pot on stove top and turn heat to high. Add in salt and pepper to taste, onion, bay leaf and allspice. Bring to a boil then reduce heat. Add fish sauce. Simmer for 2 hours. If necessary, add more water to keep liquid level at least an inch above the surface. Stir constantly. Turn off heat. In a medium wok, heat Olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and red pepper. Let sizzle before adding greens. Stir. Add 1/2 cup water. Add salt to taste. Reduce heat and cover wok and continue to cook until greens are wilted. To serve, place greens in soup bowls, then ladle over hot black-eyed peas, meat and liquid. Sprinkle with green onions.