Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Pork Loin with Peach Marmalade Sauce, Collard Greens, Black Eyed Peas & Mexican Cornbread

Happy New Year!!!  2009 seemed to go by rather quickly for us and certainly had its ups and downs.  But it's a new year and we're anxiously anticipating what is to come in our lives within the next 12 months!
As many of you know, I'm a "Yankee" girl from West Michigan and recently moved to the South for Chris to pursue a great opportunity with a new company.  What you may not know is that Chris is a true southern boy - born and raised in sweet-home Alabama!  Living in the South has definitely provided me with new experiences (mostly good)!  With that, though, comes Southern cooking and Southern traditions.  Today is New Year's Day and it's certainly a day filled with traditions and superstitions; I feel it's necessary to abide by them 1). Because I'm with a Southern boy and it's "a must" and 2). I'm very superstitious!  Let me indulge you....Never wash clothes on New Year's Day because if you do, you'll wash someone out of your life...If your house isn't clean at the beginning of the year, it won't be clean all year long...Whatever you're doing on the first day of the year, you'll be doing all year long! 

The most popular of them all....One must eat collard greens and black eyed peas if they want a year full of wealth.  Collard greens represent the money you'll have and the black eyed peas represent the pennies or coins.  Today, our house is filled with the aroma of smoked pork, onions and garlic...yum!  I am learning how to make these items and also taste them for the first time with the hopes that I will be pleased with their Southern flavors and the wherewithall to make them in the future!  Our menu consisted of a Roasted Pork Loin with a Peach Marmalade Sauce, Collard Greens with garlic and spice, Black Eyed Peas, and Mexican Cornbread. 

After sitting down to a nice, warm meal, I found myself going for seconds on the Collard Greens and Black Eyed Peas - they were delicious and to my delight, tasted much different than I had imagined!

Peach Marmalade Sauce

1 cup Peach Preserves or Marmalade
2 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
1 Tsp. Cumin
1/4 Tsp. Chili Powder

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over med-high heat, stirring frequently.  Cook until heated through (approximately 3-4 minutes).  Adjust ingredients and their amounts according to taste.  Serve immediately over meat or poultry.

Source: With a Cherry on Top

Black Eyed Peas

1 lb. Black Eyed Peas
1/2 lb. Smoked Ham, diced
1 Lg. Onion, diced
1 Tbsp. Garlic Powder
1 Tbsp. Zatarain's Crab Boil Seasoning
1 16 oz. can Diced Tomatoes
3 cups Water

Carefully sort through black eyed peas, tossing out the bad ones. 

In a large pot, combine all ingredients and cook for 1 1/2 hours on low heat.  Turn the heat down and simmer for 30 minutes more.  Remove from heat for 30 minutes to thicken and then simmer for an additional 45 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately.

Source: With a Cherry on Top

Collard Greens

1 Lg. bunch of Collard Greens, rinsed and stems removed
1 1/2 lb. Ham Hock
5 qt. Water
2 Tbsp. Garlic Powder
2 1/2 Tbsp. Zatarain's Crab Boil Seasoning
2 Tbsp. Sugar

In a 8 qt. pan, combine all ingredients except the collard greens and bring to a boil over high heat.  Boil for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to medium and cook for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.  Add collard greens and simmer for 75 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Season with pepper to taste.  Serve immediately.  - Note: we like our food spicy, so if you don't, it is recommended that you cut back on (or omit) the crab boil seasoning.

Source: With a Cherry on Top

Mexican Cornbread

1 pkg. Mexican Cornbread mix
1 Egg
3/4 cup Milk
4 Tbsp. Jalapenos, sliced
1 lb. Cheddar Cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium bowl, combine cornbread mix, egg, milk, jalapenos and 1/2 lb. cheese.  Mix together and pour into 9x9 greased dish.  Sprinkle remaining cheese over top of mixture and bake for 20 minutes or until cheese browns.  Serve immediately.  - Note: we like our food spicy; if you do not, it is recommended that you decrease the amount of jalapenos used or omit them altogether.
Source: With a Cherry on Top


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