New Years’ Day – let’s kick off this cooking blog. Hoppin’ John, a dish of black eyed peas and rice is a traditional New Years’ dish, usually accompanied by collard greens, symbolizing folding money. Will it provide good luck and prosperity in 2010? Dunno, but it’s tasty!
We had some arborio rice so we made it risotto style, based on the recipe here by Bobby Flay, but cut in half as we’re only two people. First, some black eyed peas were soaked overnight, then simmered with just enough water to cover and half the bacon for about 45 minutes until cooked through. You’re supposed to use a ham hock to prepare the peas, but the bacon worked fine. Next we browned the rest of the bacon, reserved it, then used the pan to make a risotto, flavored with chicken stock and some of the bacon grease and bits left over in the pan. You have to stir a risotto constantly, adding a little stock and white wine at a time until it reduces into a creamy consistency.
On the side we had some collard greens leftover from last night, which were already cooked, so we just heated them through in a pan with a little chicken stock.
Towards the end of the risotto preparation, we added the black-eyed peas back in, salt and pepper, and plated it with the bacon crumbled on top and a little parmigiano cheese. For the drink alongside, I could have gone with the Riesling we used to make the risotto but I had a Ommegang Hennepin farmhouse ale alongside it.
So who are Burke & Wells, anyways? We’re a couple of food fans in Brooklyn, New York and a love of neo-traditional cooking. Despite being long time foodies, with a lot of world class restaurant visits under our large belts, we’ve decided to learn to cook. Really learn to cook, from scratch, the old classic recipes, given an updated spin here and there. We’re going to be as seasonal and local as we can. What excites me the most is classic dishes from American or Canadian heritage, and country cooking from around the world – food made with love and respect for the seasons and for heritage.
Welcome to our blog, hope you enjoy your stay.