New Year's Lucky Foods
- 1 lb. dried black-eyed peas
- 1 1/2 lb. smoked ham hock
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
- 10 cups water
- 1/2 lb. fresh spicy chorizo sausage or spicy Italian sausage
- 1 cup rice
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 cup sliced scallions
- 1 large red bell pepper, diced
Soak the black-eyed peas overnight in water to cover by 2 inches. Drain well. In a large pot, combine the drained black-eyed peas, ham hock, bay leaves, garlic and water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a high simmer, partially cover and cook until the peas are almost tender, about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, prick the chorizos in several places with the tines of a fork. Fill a medium skillet with about an inch of water. Add the sausages and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook the chorizos until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Set them aside and discard the cooking juices. When cool enough to handle, cut the sausages into ½ inch dice.
Add the chorizos, rice and salt to the pot, re-cover and cook until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in the scallions and bell pepper about 10 minutes before the rice is done. If desired, pull off any meat from the ham hocks and add to the pot. Discard the bay leaves.
Mojo-Marinated Pork Shoulder Roast
- 1 tbsp. dried oregano
- 1 tbsp. ground cumin
- 30 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 cups fresh orange juice
- 2 cups fresh lime juice
- 1 ( 7 to 9 lbs.) bone-in, skin-on pork shoulder
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Using a knife, score pork skin to make a diamond pattern. Purée oregano, cumin, garlic, and 2 tbsp. orange juice in a food processor. Rub purée over pork; season with salt and pepper; transfer to a bowl. Pour remaining orange and lime juices over pork; chill, covered, overnight.
Remove pork from marinade (reserve marinade); season with salt and pepper. Heat oven to 325°. Put pork skin side up on a rack in a roasting pan; add 2 cups water. Cover pork with parchment and foil. Bake until a thermometer reads 180°, 4–5 hours. Remove foil; broil until crispy, 5–10 minutes. Pour pan juices into a saucepan and add marinade. Boil until sauce thickens, 10–15 minutes. Serve pork with sauce.
Japanese New Year’s Soup
- 4 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1" pieces
- 4 oz. daikon radish, peeled and sliced
- 1 carrot, sliced
- 4 oz. kamaboko (Japanese fish cake), sliced 1/4" thick
- 1 cup spinach, stems trimmed
- 1 tbsp. sake
- 1 tsp. soy sauce
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 4 kiri mochi (glutinous rice cakes), 1" x 2", about 1?2" thick
- Mitsuba or parsley sprigs, for garnish
Place shiitakes in a bowl. Bring 1 cup stock to a boil in a 4-qt. saucepan and pour over shiitakes; let sit until softened, 4-6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer shiitakes to another bowl and discard stems. Pour stock back into pan, discarding any dirt or sediment.
Add remaining stock and the chicken to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; add daikon and carrot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, 6-8 minutes. Add reserved shiitakes, the sliced fish cake, spinach, sake, soy sauce, and salt; cook until spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes. Keep soup warm.
Heat oven to 425°. Place glutinous rice cakes directly on an oven rack; bake, turning as needed, until browned in spots and puffed, 6-8 minutes. Divide rice cakes between 4 bowls and ladle soup over top; garnish with mitsuba sprigs. Serve hot.
Vasilopita (Greek New Year's Bread)
- 2 packages active dry yeast
- 2 cups milk, warmed
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tsp. sugar
- 7 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp. melted butter
- 1 tsp. salt
- 5 eggs, lightly beaten
- zest of one large orange
- sesame seeds
Dissolve yeast in one cup of warmed milk with one teaspoon sugar. Cover and allow to double in volume for about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix 7 cups of flour, salt, and 3/4 cups sugar in large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center. When the yeast has finished doubling, add to flour mixture, as well as butter, 4 eggs, the rest of the milk, and orange zest. Mix until dough is smooth.
Knead on floured surface for 10-15 minutes and place in a buttered or oiled bowl, turning once to coat the top. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place for 2-3 hours, or until doubled in size.
Punch dough down and divide into two. Knead each for a few minutes and place in two buttered 9-inch pans. Allow to rise until doubled in size for about one hour in a warm place.
Using a sharp knife, carve decorative patterns into the top of each loaf, such as with lines radiating out from the center. Using a pastry brush, brush the top of each loaf with the remaining beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake at 375F for 10 minutes, turn the temperature down to 350F and bake for another 30 minutes or until the tops of each loaf turn a deep chestnut brown.
Allow to cool on racks. At this point, you can insert a coin into the bottom of the loaf using a toothpick or skinny knife to push it in.