Lucky New Year Hoppin’ John Risotto

December 30, 2013 in Holidays, Side Dishes

Black eyed peas bring good luck for the New Year – stirred into risotto!

Lucky New Year Hoppin’ John Risotto

Though I’m not from the South myself, I absolutely adore many Southern food traditions, and one of my absoute favorites is the annual New Year’s Day feast, including greens for prosperity and blackeyed peas for further abundance and luck! (The Urban Luddite also informs me that you DON’T want to eat chicken on New Year’s, as it represents regret and backwards motion.)

I’ve been a little gunshy about risotto innovations ever since a first attempt left me seriously scarred. I don’t know what I was thinking, but it came down to a whole series of Don’ts. I’m reluctant to even talk about it, since I wouldn’t blame you for never trusting my cooking judgment again after hearing about this, but I feel compelled to warn you. For the record, if you’re out of white wine or even vermouth, DON’T think beer will make for a fun new flavor sensation. And if you’re also out of vegetable or chicken stock, DON’T for a minute think that leftover french onion soup will pair nicely with the beer. And when you taste the bitter, nasty heinousness that results, DON’T try to cover up the heinous with endless amounts of cheese and heavy cream. It just wastes perfectly good cheese and heavy cream.

Man, I’m still just aghast at the memory. However bad you’re imagining it was, after that description – trust me, it was worse. Easily the worst thing I’ve ever cooked in my life.

So when it came time to try this New Year’s Day risotto idea, I have to admit I was nervous, and played it pretty conservative. But I’m happy to report that it turned out beautifully after all.

– posted by Anne

Read the rest of this entry →