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Talking SCHOP! 2018! Bring it!

KYSHA HARRIS Food Editor, @SCHOPgirl | 12/29/2017, 12:16 p.m.
What an amazing Christmas 2017 for my family and me. I hosted my brood for a feast of pernil and ...
New Year's Day meal Kysha Harris photo

What an amazing Christmas 2017 for my family and me. I hosted my brood for a feast of pernil and kumquat rosemary roasted chicken with sides of roasted mashed yams, macaroni and cheese, haricot vert and mushrooms and eight-hour braised collard greens. My family was raving about the whole meal, which warmed both my spirit and my “chef heart.”

Thank goodness I made a mess of collards green because that is one less New Year’s Day dish I have to make. And that leaves the annual Hoppin’ John recipe for prosperity and luck in the new year:

3 Tablespoons olive oil

1 Cup onion, chopped

1 Teaspoon sea salt

.5 Teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

cayenne, to taste (optional)

1 Tablespoon chopped garlic

1 Smoked turkey wing or leg, cut

1 Pound dried black-eyed peas, picked over

1 Quart low-sodium chicken stock, plus more if needed

2-3 Stems of fresh thyme OR 1 teaspoon dry thyme leaves

Bay leaf

3 Cups cooked brown rice

3 Tablespoons finely chopped scallion

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, salt, pepper and cayenne and sauté for 4 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for another minute. Add the smoked turkey, black-eyed peas, stock, bay leaf and thyme. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 40 minutes or until the peas are creamy and tender; stir occasionally. If the liquid evaporates, add more water or stock.

Remove smoked turkey, cut the meat off the bone and add the meat back to the pot. Taste and readjust seasonings. Serve over brown rice garnished with green onions.

I know I am ahead of the game with my greens. However, if you are not, here is the quick and dirty:

Smoked meat product (bacon, hamhock, or turkey)

The Trinity (onions, celery and bell pepper)

Garlic

Chicken broth or bouillon

Crushed red pepper*

Vinegar*

(*and/or as much of your favorite hot sauce)

Depending on how much greens you prepare, determine the amount of trinity to use. My ratio is 2:1:1, onion to pepper to celery. Sauté the trinity in olive oil, seasoning with salt and pepper (crushed red pepper, too) in an appropriately sized lidded pot until onions are translucent. Add chopped garlic, at least two cloves, and sauté for one minute more.

Add at least one-half cup of chicken (or vegetable) stock and at least one tablespoon of vinegar and bring to a simmer. Add prepared greens to the pot in batches, if necessary, covering until the greens cook down providing more space for the next batch, mixing intermittently to coat with braising liquid and aromatics.

Let the greens rock for at least 30 minutes or until the color changes to a deep army green.

We have posted a video on our AmNewsFOOD Facebook page at www.facebook.com/nyamnewsfood/ that will walk you through.

The happiest of 2018 to you and yours. Thanks for reading!

Kysha Harris is a food writer and editor, culinary producer, consultant and owner of SCHOP!, a personalized food service in NYC for more than 15 years. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram, @SCHOPgirl, on Facebook, /SCHOPnyc, and her blog, www.talkingSCHOP.wordpress.com. Questions? Comments? Requests? Feedback?  Invitations!  Email AmNewsFOOD at AmNewsFOOD@SCHOPnyc.com. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @NYAmNewsFOOD and tag us with #SoAmNewsFOOD with your food finds!