New Year’s Hoppin’ John

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Ingredients

8 oz pork tenderloin
2 Roma tomatoes
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 1/2 cup water
1 cup jambalaya rice mix (half a 12 oz package)
1 can (about 15 oz) black-eyed peas

Cut pork into bite-size pieces and chop tomatoes. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Salute pork until browned and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove pot from heat. Move pork to a plate and cover to keep warm. Carefully add water to pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in jambalaya and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 20 minutes. Meanwhile, rinse and drain peas. When rice is done, turn off heat and stir in pork, tomatoes and peas. Cover with lid and let sit off heat 5 minutes.

Egg Casserole

This is actually a New Years Day tradition of mine because you can put it all together the night before and then just throw it in the oven the morning after (perfect after having a bit too much champagne the night before). I made it for church this morning and it was a hit.

  • 1 Package (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 4 large croissants
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups low-fat 1% (or other type) milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 oz grated Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese
  • Four strips of bacon, chopped

Place thawed spinach in a large wad of a paper towels and squeeze out as much water as you can. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Cut croissants in half and overlap them slightly in two rows in the dish. Beat eggs in a medium bowl. Stir in milk, spinach, nutmeg, pepper and chopped bacon. Pour over croissants and sprinkle with cheese. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours, up to 24 hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Uncover casserole and bake and bubbly and light brown around edges, 30 to 35 minutes.

New Year’s Day Lab Party

At my job, we sometimes have to work the holidays. You can let it drag you down or you can make it fun (the time and a half pay always gives a nice few extra bucks to the paycheck). All of us in the lab got together and decided to bring some food and have a little party to start the New Year. Someone brought a tortellini pasta and some brownies. I kept with the tradition of New Years and made a chili with black-eyed peas. Eating black-eyed peas on New Years day brings good luck and is thought to bring prosperity. It was really good and I posted the recipe below.

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BLACK-EYED-PEA CHILI

Ingredients

  • 1 can (about 15 ounces) black-eyed peas
  • 2 cups halved grape tomatoes
  • 8 ounces 90 percent lean beef
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 1 tablespoon chili pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 avocado
  • juice of 1 lime, divided use
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Rinse and drain peas. Combine half the peas and half the tomatoes in a food processor; blend until smooth. Heat a wide-bottom pot over medium-high. Add beef; cook and crumble until browned. Move beef to a bowl. Add half the onions and remaining tomatoes to the pot. Saute until tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Return beef to pot. Stir in bean-to-mato puree, chili powder, ketchup, and water. Simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes. Meanwhile, mash avocado with half the lime juice and half the cilantro; set aside. Stir the remaining lime juice and cilantro into the chili. Dish chili into bowls and top with the avocado mash.