Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Decade 1.1.11

New Year's Day Brunch Menu

Clean Out the Fridge Frittata!
Shallot and Red Onion Hash Browns
Cinnamon Sue Oranges

Clean Out the Fridge Frittata 
1/2 yellow pepper, chopped
1/2 small onion, chopped
Handful of fresh spinach
4 eggs, beaten
Salt and pepper and some oregano
1 cup shredded mozzarella

 Pre-heat broiler
Sauté peppers and onions in a medium cast iron or oven proof skillet. Add spinach and wilt, pour in eggs and swish around like you're making an omelet adding salt, pepper and oregano. Sprinkle cheese on top and put under broiler to melt cheese-watch carefully so you don't over cook. Let sit a few minutes before cutting.

Shallot and Red Onion Hash Browns
1/4 cup sliced red onion
one shallot sliced
1/2 bag frozen has browns ( I like the Alexia brand)
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Sauté shallot and red onion in olive oil, add hash browns and slat and pepper and cook allowing the bottom of the potatoes to form a nice crust.

Cinnamon *Sue* Oranges
2 naval oranges, peeled and sliced
Turbinado or regular sugar
Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon over the oranges, let sit a bit for flavors to develop.
**I learned of this recipe from a friend who is no longer with us and I always think of her each time I make it.**

A lot of families have traditional foods that are eaten on New Year's Day for good luck. On the Epicurious site I found some interesting facts about foods that my family always ate: cabbage, legumes and pork. Below, are some fun facts about these good luck foods.

Our good luck menu this year will be:

Lemon Pork Chops with Lentil Pilaf
Tangy Slaw

Cooked Greens

Cooked greens, including cabbage, collards, kale, and chard, are consumed at New Year's in different countries for a simple reason — their green leaves look like folded money, and are thus symbolic of economic fortune. The Danish eat stewed kale sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, the Germans consume sauerkraut (cabbage) while in the southern United States, collards are the green of choice. It's widely believed that the more greens one eats the larger one's fortune next year.


Legumes including beans, peas, and lentils are also symbolic of money. Their small, seedlike appearance resembles coins that swell when cooked so they are consumed with financial rewards in mind. In Italy, it's customary to eat cotechino con lenticchie or sausages and green lentils, just after midnight—a particularly propitious meal because pork has its own lucky associations. Germans also partner legumes and pork, usually lentil or split pea soup with sausage. In Brazil, the first meal of the New Year is usually lentil soup or lentils and rice, and in Japan, the osechi-ryori, a group of symbolic dishes eaten during the first three days of the new year, includes sweet black beans called kuro-mame.
In the Southern United States, it's traditional to eat black-eyed peas or cowpeas in a dish called hoppin' john. There are even those who believe in eating one pea for every day in the new year. This all traces back to the legend that during the Civil War, the town of Vicksburg, Mississippi, ran out of food while under attack. The residents fortunately discovered black-eyed peas and the legume was thereafter considered lucky.


The custom of eating pork on New Year's is based on the idea that pigs symbolize progress. The animal pushes forward, rooting itself in the ground before moving. Roast suckling pig is served for New Year's in Cuba, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, and Austria—Austrians are also known to decorate the table with miniature pigs made of marzipan. Different pork dishes such as pig's feet are enjoyed in Sweden while Germans feast on roast pork and sausages. Pork is also consumed in Italy and the United States, where thanks to its rich fat content, it signifies wealth and prosperity.

Lemon Pork Chops with Lentil Pilaf

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
zest of one lemon
1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 Tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh rosemary
1 cloves garlic, chopped
4 1 inch thick pork chops

Mix all the above ingredients together and marinate chops 4 or 5 hours.
Pre heat oven to 400
Sear the pork chops in a very hot oven proof skillet for two minutes on each side. Then put the skillet in the oven, turn the oven OFF and let the chops bake about 8 minutes.

Lentil Pilaf
Used Casbah brand rice and lentil mix and sautéed celery and onion in the saucepan before adding the water, and rice/lentil mixture.

Tangy Slaw

4 cups thinly sliced cabbage
1 cup shredded carrot
½ cup diced red pepper
½ cup diced red onion
¼ cider vinegar
1 T sugar
1 T vegetable oil
1 T dijon mustard
2 t prepared horseradish
salt and pepper

Combine the first four ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and pour over slaw and toss well. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours.



  1. Happy New Year, Cookcat! Happy meals and happy trails to you and Mister Cookcat!

  2. Thumbs up on the meal and fun facts! I found this super yummy lentil soup recipe ( We froze leftovers and took em camping with us. I swear I heard a couple coyotes nearby after we cooked pork sausages and lentil soup over the campfire! We even had sauerkraut the night before so we were good on our new years meal out in the desert!

  3. Our traditional foods were corned beef, cabbage, and black-eyed peas to represent health, wealth, and happiness. We didn't observe our traditions this year as we weren't at home - hope that's not a bad omen for 2011!