December 31st, 2008
The New Year brings many traditions for friends and families. Some ladle up bowls of steaming oyster stew while others cook up pots of black eyed peas for luck.
I like to get into comfy lounging-jammies, turn on a great old movie (my favorite: Auntie Maime) and be a couch potato for New Year’s Day. Starting off with a big mug of Joe and thin slices of my homemade bourbon soaked “real” fruit cake- lightly toasted.
Later in the morning I get slow cooking pot roast going with lots of garlic and red wine (recipe below). It scents the house so deliciously. I serve up the tender and succulent pot roast with a big glass of red wine, a crisp salad, roasted root veggies and red potatoes, and of course thick slices of rustic bread to soak up all those good juices. Dinner at our house is served early so we can be early to bed and feel fresh for the next day at work.
I asked what many of you do for the New Year – what your traditions are, and the response was great! Thank you all for sharing your thoughts with all of us…
Scott Surdyke posted, “New Year’s is all about the roasted, herb-crusted Leg of Lamb. It’s also time for us to argue with mom about whether to use a meat thermometer. Mom insists on cooking “the old fashioned way” (without), while we argue that we’ve had one too many dry Legs of Lamb and that its time for a thermometer. We cut slits in the lamb and stuff it with lots of garlic, and we make a great sauce of the lamb “jus” combined with our grandma’s homemade mint jelly (YUM!). Of course, New Year’s is also a day where we HAVE TO serve good ol’ retro clam dip made with canned clams, cream cheese, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce”
Michelle Quisenberry and her husband Chef Don Curtiss (owners of Volterra Restaurant) always feed each other 12 grapes at midnight on New Year’s Eve for good luck – an old Italian tradition from Don’s Italian heritage..and kind of sexy too! Then on New Year’s morning, abiding by Michelle’s Japanese heritage, they eat Mochi for breakfast with green tea as a traditional way to start the new year. Then follow it later with an assortment of sushi.
Joani McGown writes: “Dad was born and raised in the South (Makon, Georgia) and it is a custom in the south that if you eat Black Eyed Peas on New Years Day, they will bring you luck all year. I love ‘em! My mom always made them slow cooked with ham. I like to serve them with Dijon Mustard bread boneless pork chops for New Year’s Day dinner.”
Food writer Cynthia Nim’s said ” This is a New Year’s Eve tradition for us, but I serve it after the midnight’s festivities, so I suppose we’re actually eating it on New Year’s Day. I make a big batch of classic French bouillabaisse (based on the recipe from my time at La Varenne). It’s festive, special, easy to make ahead and keep on the stove and a fun way to ring in the New Year with something delicious to share with friends.”
KOMO’s Lisa Brooks says, “Every New Year’s Day since I was a very tiny girl, my family has made a tradition of Pork and Sauerkraut. It must harken back to my part-German roots. You must eat Pork and Sauerkraut for good luck!!!!”
Tamara and Wayne Wilson start off the day with a hearty breakfast of bacon, eggs, home fries and toast along with Bloody Mary’s while taking down their tree that is covered head to toe with Christopher Radko ornaments – I have seen their fantastic tree and this is sure to be an all day event! Tamara says, “the Bloody Mary’s motivate me to put the decorations away!”
Chef Janice Vaughns wrote in, “If I’m lucky I get to sleep in, which is always a plus. But I usually cook Black Eye Peas, Collard Greens and Corn bread. I cooked all this at Dish D’lish in the market when I was the chef there and made all the kids have at least one bite for Good Luck in the New Year. I think they all did well. At Calamity Jane’s I will be serving the Good Luck dish the first week of January”
Joan Fennell said “Recently, we have loved lobster for our New Year’s Day dinner. I heard somewhere that what you eat on the first day of the New Year sets the tone for what it will bring (ie. eat rich and perhaps you will beceome rich!) Well, it doesn’t hurt.” Maybe lobster is a good idea…
Kathy’s Lazy Day Slow-Cooked Roast Beef with Half a Bottle of Wine and 20 Cloves of Garlic
Makes 6 to 8 generous servings
1 (3- to 3 1/2-pound) beef chuck roast
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 large onion, peeled and cut into 8 wedges
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
1/2 bottle (about 1 1/2 cups) red wine
3 tablespoons flour
20 cloves garlic, peeled
5 sprigs fresh thyme
4 carrots, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
4 stalks celery, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, optional
Preheat an oven to 325°F.
With paper towels, pat the roast dry. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof Dutch oven over high heat until hot.
Rub the roast with salt and pepper. Place in the hot pan and sear on all sides until well browned. Remove the meat to a platter.
Add the onion wedges and mushrooms to the pan and stir around for a few minutes, then tuck the roast back into the pan, pulling the onion and mushroom mixture up from under the roast.
Whisk together the wine and flour until smooth and add to the roasting pan, along with the garlic and thyme. Bring to a simmer, then cover and transfer the pan to the oven.
Roast for about 2 hours. Add the carrots and celery and continue to roast for 1/2 hour to 1 hour, or until meat is fork-tender. Stir the basil into the sauce.
Cut roast into thick slices or large chunks, depending on your preference, and serve with the sauce drizzled over it.
Chef’s Tips: If the sauce is not thick enough, make a cornstarch slurry using 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water. Whisk the slurry into the simmering sauce, a little at a time, until the desired thickness is reached.
Recipe (c) from Dishing with Kathy Casey Cookbook