Is your menu ready? I'm planning my menu today. Tomorrow I will consider new year resolutions.
When I say my family is from the south, I mean southern Sicily but I've decided on ringing in 2010 with some traditional American southern dishes ~with a twist~.
I'll be shopping for my ingredients today.
So far on my menu I have:
For New Years Eve dinner :
(this should be made the day before to increase the flavor, so I will make it tomorrow)
Lentil Soup with Sausage (Italian tradition)
This is an easy, robust vegetarian soup that tastes almost meaty. The rosemary in the bouquet garni contributes a savory, earthy flavor.
1 cup lentils, washed and picked over
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrot, diced
2 stalk of celery, diced
1 lb italian sausage (browned, crumbled and drained)
Salt to taste
1 14-ounce can chopped tomatoes, with juice
8 cups chicken broth
A bouquet garni made with 1 sprig thyme and 1 bay leaf (or dried leaves)
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan or Gruyère for serving
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 cup cooked elbow macaroni
1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a heavy soup pot or Dutch oven, and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until tender, about five minutes. Add the garlic, carrot and celery, and a generous pinch of salt, and continue to cook for another five minutes until tender. Add the tomatoes and bouquet garni, and cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes have cooked down somewhat and smell fragrant, about 10 minutes. Add the lentils, water and salt to taste. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently 45 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. Remove the bouquet garni, and stir in the parsley and cooked macaroni. Serve, garnishing each bowl with Parmesan or Gruyère.
Yield: Serves four.
Advance preparation: This soup will improve overnight, and keeps well for three or four days, though you will probably finish it sooner. It can be frozen for a couple of months.
For New Years Day :
Black eyed peas with Ginger - served with Cornbread
- 2 cups dried black-eyed peas, rinsed, and soaked
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 6 slices bacon, 1-inch dice
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup preserved ginger, chopped
- 3/4 cup honey
Preparation:Collard Greens with Rice
Drain and rinse the beans; cover with fresh water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until tender. Add water to keep them from drying out, if necessary.
Preheat oven to 325°. In a heavy skillet, saute onion and bacon over medium heat until onion is golden and bacon is crisp. Drain off fat and stir bacon and onion into beans. Add mustard and salt and pepper, to taste. Add ginger; combine well. Turn into a 2-quart baking dish; drizzle with the honey. Cover and bake 1 1/2 hours. Remove the cover the last 30 minutes to brown the top.
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup white rice
- 1 tbsp vegan margarine
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 cups collard greens, rinsed and chopped
- pepper, to taste
- cayenne pepper (optional)
In a large pot, bring the vegetable broth to a boil. Add the rice, vegan margarine, salt and red pepper flakes.
Makes four servings of collard greens and rice.