Being Southern by birth & heritage, I grew up with my mom serving very specific foods on New Year’s Day. Supposedly, each food offered some sort of mysterious prognostication for the coming year. Our menu always included a pork roast with plenty of garlic, black-eyed peas cooked with bacon, cabbage with onion sauteed in bacon grease, candied sweet potatoes, & corn bread, also made with bacon grease. Now, I’m a sucker for a good tradition, after all, that’s part of the reason I went to Texas A&M! As such, I have carried on this tradition with my family, for the most part. Sometimes, however, the traditionalist in me is in conflict with my inner rebel…the rebel usually wins! That being said, this year I thought I would shake things up a little bit…but I couldn’t completely ignore the tradition!
Besides eating good southern comfort food, New Year’s Day has always been about college football & bowl games at our house. So what better way to celebrate than to combine the two? Are you ready for this amazing concoction? …wait for iiiiiiiiiiiiiit…Año Nuevo Queso…the latest sensation in New Year’s cuisine! It has everything…pork to signify prosperity, black-eyed peas for luck, greens for wealth, corn for those who might miss the cornbread, lots of cheese, & a little beer…we are talking football here! This is another one of those grandma-slappin’-good recipes! Notice, there are no sweet potatoes. That would be weird & I don’t think they are widely traditional…I think my mom just cooked them because my dad like them so much!
- ½ pound breakfast sausage, or chorizo
- ½ large onion, diced small
- 2-3 jalapeños, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 beer, divided
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- ½ cup half & half
- 12 ounces shredded cheddar cheese, or muenster, asadero, monterey jack, or a mixture
- 1 can black eyed peas, or 2 cups cooked, rinsed & drained
- ½ cup salsa
- 1 bunch collard greens, about 2 cups cooked, diced small
- 1 cup whole kernel corn
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- Brown the sausage in a 4-quart pan. Add the onion; cook until tender. Stir in jalapeño & garlic; cook until fragrant.
- Pour in ¼ cup of the beer; deglaze the pan to get all the yummy little bits off the bottom & sides. Drink the remaining beer as you finish making the queso!
- Stir in cream cheese, half & half, & cheese. Stir until melted…do not boil!
- Mash black-eyed peas coarsely with a fork; stir into cheese mixture.
- Stir in salsa, greens, corn, sour cream, & lime juice. Salt & pepper to taste. Heat through.
- Remove from heat; stir in cilantro. Serve immediately with tortilla chips…& more beer!
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- Eat Some Lucky Foods for a Prosperous New Year (blogher.com)
- Why do people eat black-eyed peas on New Years Day? (iamdomo.com)
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