New Year’s Day Dinner 2021

So I don’t usually put a lot of recipes into the actual blog. I like having them separate, but I thought I would write about our New Year’s Day dinner this year because I was especially proud of it. I did a separate blog on the superstitions associated with this meal, so I won’t go into those here. But let’s just say we are really hoping they are true in 2021.

So, I started with cinnamon apples. I peeled 3lbs of apples, cored them and chopped them into about 2in chunks. I tossed those into the instant pot with 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of corn starch and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon. I stirred this all together and then set the pot to pressure cook for 8 minutes. I let it naturally release for 15 minutes and then released the rest of the pressure manually. Turns out this was too much cooking time, so we ended up with more of a cinnamon apple sauce. However, it was pretty good and has me tempted to try making potato cakes to put it on. I set the apple sauce aside and just let it cool, as I needed the instant pot again.

Next, I salted and peppered two pork shanks. I heated some oil in a large Dutch oven on the stove. I then seared the pork shanks on all sides to a nice golden brown. As the last side of each was searing, I tossed some sliced onions into the Dutch oven with them and added some minced garlic. I then removed the shanks to a separate dish and deglazed the pan with about 1/4 cup of red wine. After scraping all the yummy flavor bits into the onions, I added the shanks back on top. I then poured about 1/2 bottle of red wine into it so that the shanks were about half covered. I then put this into the oven and allowed it to cook for about 2 1/2 hours at 275 degrees. Here, I took a break and did some blog writing.

Once the meat was done, I moved it to the stovetop and kept the Dutch oven closed to keep it warm. Then, I made up some cornbread. I preheated the oven to 425 degrees with the cast iron skillet inside. I mixed 2 cups cornmeal, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 tablespoon sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in a medium bowl. I then whisked together 1 cup of Greek yogurt and 2 eggs in a separate bowl. I stirred one can of creamed corn and one can of diced green chilis into the yogurt and egg mixture. I then poured this liquid mixture into the dry ingredients and stirred until well combined. I removed the hot iron skillet from the oven, added 1 1/2 tablespoon of butter, and swirled it around the pan to coat the bottom and sides. I poured the batter into the hot pan and put it in the oven. It took about 25 minutes to fully cook. You know it’s done when the sides start to pull away from the pan and a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean.

While the cornbread was baking, I worked on the other items. Right after getting the cornbread in the oven, I set the black-eyed peas to cook in the instant pot. I tossed in a pound of dried black-eyed peas, two small diced yellow onions, a diced yellow bell pepper, 4 cups of mushroom broth, 2 cups of water (mainly because I was out of mushroom broth), 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, 1 teaspoon of fresh ground Grains of Paradise, and 2 bay leaves. I set it to pressure cook for 18 minutes.

Next, I started the braised collard greens. I heated a pan with olive oil and tossed in one large sliced yellow onion. I let those cook about 3 minutes and then tossed in 2 cloves of garlic sliced thinly. I let that cook another 2 minutes. I then added the collard greens, which had been cut into about 2 inch ribbons. I cooked those until they just started to wilt. I added 1 cup white wine. I let that cook until the wine was almost gone and then added 1 cup vegetable broth. I covered that and let it cook 15 minutes. I then removed the lid and cooked another 15 minutes until most of the liquid evaporated.

Finally, I sautéed two portabella mushroom caps in butter. These were for our youngest, who is vegetarian, since she wasn’t going to eat the pork. Ya, her luck might be slightly affected by that…we’ll see.

I got rave reviews from the husband on the collard greens, which he says he had not previously liked. I was pretty proud of them, as I was very concerned with making collard greens without pork or at least pork fat. I’m a southern girl. I’m pretty sure you can get run out of town for that move. But they had excellent flavor, and the texture was fantastic.

I had expected the corn bread to be the kid’s favorite item, as she’d be a breadatarian if we’d let her. However, she said her favorite part was the black-eyed peas. She ate enough of those to maybe balance her luck with that no pork thing. I am going to credit their excellence to the mushroom broth. That mushroom broth is magic. However, I now need to get some mushrooms so I can make more, as the holiday meals have totally wiped out my stash.

We have a crap ton of food leftover. I don’t know why I always feel the need to make enough to serve 12 on holidays, but I do. If we eat the lucky meal the entire first week of the year, will that bring us more luck? I guess we may be giving it a shot. Anyway, here are final pictures of the meal:

4 thoughts on “New Year’s Day Dinner 2021

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