Lake Norman Magazine

Start the year off right, feel lucky all year long

With the holiday season full of food traditions (and treats), it is only fitting to start the year off with food that will bring luck all year round.It is a longstanding tradition in many cultures to eat certain foods on New Year’s Day. It is said to bring good luck to a brand new year.Eating collard greens is said to represent paper money because of its large leaves and green color. Black-eyed peas are like little coins, so eating both may help bring in the cash in 2012.Even if you aren’t a collard green fan, here is a recipe that is sure to not only change your opinion of them, but just might change your monetary luck as well.More times than not, collards are cooked for hours with a piece of pork until they are just a pile of mush. Believe me, I understand why most folks who didn’t grow up eating collards wouldn’t like them this way.Eating collard greens raw is not only the most nutritious way to eat them; it is also the best tasting. Treat them as you would any other salad green. Add your favorite salad toppings and dressing; you will be amazed at how great tasting they really are.This wilted collard salad is a play on a spinach salad with the traditional warm bacon vinaigrette.Raw collards are actually better for you than spinach, because spinach contains oxalic acid, which inhibits the body’s absorption of calcium and iron.With the addition of goat cheese and crispy bacon, this raw collard green salad is worth trying and is sure to be something to eat all year long, good luck or bad.This collard salad will bring enough luck and is a meal in itself, but just in case that’s not enough, give these marinated black-eyed peas a try as well. The tangy dressing is used as a marinade to round out the flavor of the black-eyed peas.The tomatoes and onions bring some freshness to the dish and the sunflower seeds add a great texture, making it a completely balanced dish for any occasion.I wish you good luck and cheer ringing in the New Year and all that it may bring to you and your family. For more great recipes and where to buy Chef Troy’s spices and cookbook, visit www.cheftroy.net Watch Chef Troy on Fox Charlotte’s Fox News Rising morning show each and every Tuesday morning from 7-9 a.m. Contact Chef Troy at cheftroy@windstream.net

Wilted Collard Green Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette

Makes 4 entrée servings or 8 side salads

For the Salad:

6 cups raw collard greens, stems removed To taste - red onion, sliced into thin, half-moons strips 1 cup roasted tomatoes, halved, oiled, seasoned and roasted (see below) 8 ounces goat cheese (crumbled) 4 hard-boiled eggs 1 pound peppered bacon

For the Dressing:

1/2 cup bacon dripping, reserved 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 2 cloves garlic ¼ cup red wine vinegar To taste - black pepper To taste - kosher salt

Collard Greens:

Place greens in a bowl of cold water. Remove, letting excess drip off, cut collard greens into thin strips. Place greens back into fresh cold water to rinse again. Spin greens in a salad spinner to dry. Or drain in a colander and place in large mixing bowl lined with paper towels. Keep greens cold, can be stored in airtight container for several days.

Roasted Tomatoes:

Halve Roma tomatoes, toss with olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper; place on baking sheet cut side down. Bake in oven at 300 degrees for 30 minutes or until some of the moisture in the tomato has concentrated but not completely evaporated. They should still be plump and juicy. Remove and set aside to cool. Remove tomato skins and rough chop.

Toppings:

Bring small pot of water to a boil, add eggs and cook for 18 minutes. Remove and run under cold water. Remove shells, slice into circles and keep refrigerated until ready to assemble salad.Slice raw bacon into strips. Cook in sauté pan until almost crispy; bacon will continue to crisp up after removing from pan. Take off heat, remove bacon with slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.

Dressing:

Leave bacon drippings in pan; drippings should measure out to be about a 1/2 cup. Warm sauté pan over medium heat. Add mustard, garlic and vinegar; cook until vinegar reduces by half, season with pepper. Dressing should slightly thicken when stirred.

To Assemble the Salad:

Assemble salad by placing collard greens in a large mixing bowl. Pour warm bacon vinaigrette over the greens and toss to coat. Place desired amount of greens for salad on a plate and top in this order. Red onion, roasted tomatoes, bacon, hard-boiled eggs and goat cheese, season to taste with salt and pepper.

Marinated Black-Eyed Pea Salad

Serves four to six as an appetizer 2 16-ounce black-eyed peas - canned, rinsed and drained ½ red onion - about ¼ cup, small dice 1 poblano pepper - roasted, skin removed, deseeded, small diced 2 tablespoons mayonnaise 2 tablespoons white vinegar or rice wine vinegar ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper 2 tablespoons canola oil 3 Roma tomatoes, deseeded and diced 2 green onions – thin-sliced, white and green separated ¼ cup sunflower seeds - shelled, roasted and salted

To Marinate the Black-Eyed Peas:

Place black-eyed peas, red onion and roasted poblano pepper in a mixing bowl.In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together mayo, vinegar and cayenne pepper to combine. Slowly add the oil while whisking until all is incorporated. Pour marinade into the bowl with black-eyed peas and combine. Place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight to marinate.

To Serve the Black Eyed Peas:

Remove marinated black-eyed peas from the refrigerator and place into a serving bowl, stir in tomatoes and garnish with the green onions. Top with sunflower seeds and serve.

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