Sunday, January 1, 2012

Eat, Drink, Cook: Food haiku to greet the new

As the old year leaves
get out cans of black-eyed peas,
review recipes

How's that for a New Year's Day haiku? The Southern tradition of having black-eyed peas to encourage good luck has spread nationwide, and bean dishes have heft and nutrition, a good way to start the year off. One option is to make a rich shimmery beef and beer stew and add some black-eyed peas to it. Allow me to recommend Amanda Bristol's beef stew made with a locally brewed, seasonal ale from Bristol Brewing, (you might even have some party extras setting around)... We've published the recipe a couple of times in our Ranch Foods Direct newsletter, but I'll repost it here.

If the crisp air and bright sunlight of this first day of 2012 leaves you less than ambitious about spending time in the kitchen, how about a stovetop version of cheesy black-eyed pea dip, served with Colorado-made crispbread crackers left over from last night or some fresh broccoli and apples slices?

Here's how to do it (in my case, modified to suit the pantry ingredients already on hand; make substitutions as needed or to taste):

Diced bacon (just a little for extra flavor), onion and Jalapeno pepper, gently pan-fried together in smoked olive oil; a can of diced tomatoes and some corn kernels (frozen or canned); seasoned with a teaspoon of cumin and of thyme and a half-teaspoon of paprika and chili powder; a 15-oz. can of black-eyed peas, drained; and a big pinch of salt and ground black pepper; topped with 4 to 8 ounces of creamy Haystack Mountain goat cheese, crumbled and melted.

In honor of "Bean Day" on January 6, look for more bean recipes in our forthcoming January 2012 customer newsletter (shown here).