My New Year’s Day Menu

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Okay, I gave a little thought to our New Year’s Day menu – since I was able to stop by an open Publix after I went to see New Moon.  I already had two pork tenderloins (next time I buy from Costco, I am going to open the little vacuum sealed packages of two and separate the loins out), but I had no greens and no black-eyed peas.

I didn’t even try to find fresh black-eyed peas – 5:00 PM on New Year’s Eve is not the time to be picky!  I got two cans of the Publix brand.  I was able to get my hands on the last bag of Glory brand Collard Greens, and I was set.  Here is what I fixed:

First, I made the Cornbread.   I used this recipe from Celiac.com.   It calls for ground corn meal (I used the Bob’s Red Mill Medium Ground Corn Meal that has been in my freezer for a while) and masa harina (or, Harina de Masa – I used Maseca) as a flour substitute.  I didn’t have any buttermilk, so I substituted SaCo Cultured Buttermilk Blend (I checked the ingredients, and they look to be gluten-free).

The only part of the procedure that needed to change in the recipe was to add the Buttermilk Blend (which is dry) to the dry ingredients.  Then I added the water to the eggs and stirred them up.

I decided to write down my recipe and procedure, since I substituted and didn’t use a cast iron pan.  Try it:  It is a good recipe – my mother found the original last year and used it to make a great cornbread dressing.

Corn Bread #2.1 (Gluten-Free)

2 cups cornmeal (Bob’s Red Mill Medium Ground)
1 cup Masa Harina (Mexican-style corn flour used for tortillas)
8 Tablespoons SaCo Cultured Buttermilk Blend (4 TBSP. per cup of water)
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon soda
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups water
Canola oil spray for the glass pan

In one bowl, combine dry ingredients and cut in oil with a pastry blender (I used a fork). In another bowl, crack 3 eggs and beat with a fork.  Add 2 cups of water and beat with a fork until the eggs and water are mixed.  Then stir the egg mixture into the dry mixture and blend with the fork.

The original recipe calls for a cast iron pan, which I don’t have.  I used a glass pan, about 7 or 8 inches square.  I sprayed it with Canola spray and tried to melt butter in the bottom of the pan, but ended up dumping most of the butter out.

Bake at 425F degrees for 25 minutes, then turn and bake 15 minutes more or until done.

While the cornbread was baking, I made the Collard Greens.  I chopped and sauteed 1/2 red onion, 5 mini yellow bell peppers, 3 cloves of garlic, and 15-20 slices of Hormel Pepperoni (the Original kind – the Turkey is not gluten-free) in 1/4 cup of olive oil and a dollop of dark sesame oil.  When the veggies were soft, I added 4 cups of Organic Chicken Broth, 1/2 Tbsp. of Better than Bouillon Ham base, a couple of shots of balsamic vinaigrette and Wheat Free Tamari sauce.  After the liquid came to a boil, I added the bag of Glory Turnip Greens and tossed them in the liquid.  Then I lowered the heat and simmered the mixture until greens looked done.

Last night, I massaged the pork tenderloin with Williams-Sonoma Coffee and Spice Rub.  Then I added a little olive oil and lime juice and salt and rubbed that in as well.  I put it in the fridge overnight.  Today, I cooked the tenderloin in the oven – it only took about 20-25 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 425 degrees.

Since Williams-Sonoma seems to have discontinued this item (even with a recipe on their website that calls for it), I found someone on Recipezaar who made his own version:

Ancho Chile and Coffee Rub –

1 Tablespoon French Roast coffee beans
1 teaspoon dried ancho chile powder
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
2 teaspoons cumin seeds

To prepare the rub:  Place the ingredients in a heated heavy skillet.  Shake the mixture over the heat and allow to toast for 1 minute or until mixture begins to release a strong aroma.  Pour into a spice or coffee grinder and grind to a coarse powder.

Finally, I strained and dumped two cans black-eyed peas with a can of chopped tomatoes and mild green chiles, one cube each of Dorot garlic and cilantro, and a cup of chicken broth with some of the collard green drippings.

It all came out great and there are plenty of leftovers, since there are only two of us here.

The only New YAmbrosia: A New Year's Tradition?ear’s Meal traditional item that I compromised on was the Ambrosia Fruit Salad.  Ambrosia is a fruit salad made with orange sections, coconut, and maraschino cherries (some people add pineapple).  My family used to have it for dessert – whether we wanted it or not – becaus it represented happiness in the new year.  I didn’t want to make Ambrosia, mainly because my husband avoids oranges for his gastric reflux and I didn’t want to eat that much salad myself.  So I came upon a compromise.  My husband downloaded a song or two from the band Ambrosia.  Clever, huh?

Then, while I was looking up links on New Year’s traditional foods, I could find nothing about having ambrosia on New Year’s Day.  It was mentioned as a dessert item on Thanksgiving and Christmas, but none of the sites I found required it for a New Year’s meal. I didn’t find it under “lucky foods“, either.  When I mentioned this omission to my husband, however, he asserted that his family also ate it as a New Year’s tradition.  Does anyone else have an opinion?

Well, it sounds like my husband is dismantling the Christmas tree, so I guess that signals the end of the holiday season.  I still have two more days of vacation, then two days of inservice at school before the children come back.  They come back on Three Kings’ Day, so I may have to find a Rosca de los Reyes to serve.

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