Thursday, December 31st, 2009
Your favorite chef, Greg Ziegenfuss, appeared on Channel 11′s noon show yesterday to show us all how to make our New Years Eve Brunch “Lucky”:
“New Years celebrations are normally festive, loud and usually involve a big glittery ball. However the celebrations would not be what they are without the varied culinary customs that myriad cultures bring to the party.
In Asian cultures, noodles represent long life. Tangerines and oranges represent luck and wealth.
In Spain and Portugal, people eat 12 grapes, one for each month as the clock counts down to midnight.
In Brazil, lentils are a symbol of prosperity so lentil soup or lentils and rice are prepared for the first meal of the new year.
In Central Europe, the tradition was to hunt a wild boar on the first day of the year which has carried over to the preponderance of pork products and ham. Another thought is that a pig roots forward indicating progress in the new year.
Cabbage is another good luck food because it is believed cabbage is representative of paper money and thus is eaten with the hope of a prosperous New Year.
In Northern European countries, a New Years tradition is eating Pickled Herring for luck in the new year.
The following menu for a New Years brunch was created with these culinary traditions and foods in mind.
Orange salad with grapes, spinach and Asian Vinaigrette
Black Eyed Pea Salad (see recipe below)
Rice salad with lentils
Asian pasta salad
Sliced Pork Tenderloin with red cabbage and apples
Smoked Salmon with classical garnishes (since no one likes pickled herring)
Corn Bread Madeleine’s
RECIPE: Black Eyed Pea Salad
1.5 gallons salted water
2 cups dried black eye peas
1/2 red bell pepper medium diced
1/2 yellow bell pepper medium diced
1 cup chopped green onions
1/2 minced jalapeno pepper
2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 Tablespoon cumin
Zest of 1 lime
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and white pepper to taste
In a heavy sauce pot bring water and peas to a boil. Lower to a simmer for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse with cold water to cool. Drain peas thoroughly then toss with the remaining ingredients. Season with kosher salt and white pepper to taste. Prepare up to 24 hours in advance and a minimum of 2 hours for all flavors to blend.”