Lucky Food for the New Year
BY CHRISTINE GARDNERfood@tylerpaper.com
Thirteen may be an unlucky number for numerous reasons, but if you eat plenty of lucky food on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day you will have nothing to worry about. 2013 could become the best year ever for health, success, prosperity, abundance, finances, progress and good fortune.
You may or may not be superstitious but one thing is sure, you can celebrate the start of the New Year with a happy stomach full of deliciously symbolic food.Greens:
Any type of cooked greens including cabbage, collard greens, kale, chard - even sauerkraut â€' are enjoyed at the start of the New Year in many cultures. In Denmark its stewed kale sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, in German its sauerkraut and pork sausages and in the south collard greens with salt pork and black-eyed peas.
The greens are symbolic because they are the color of money and the more you eat the larger your fortune. And good for your health too â€' the darker the greens the healthier.Legumes:
All types of beans, peas and lentils are symbolic of money and resemble coins. Black-eyed peas are a southern favorite: Italians eat cotechino con lenticchie which is sausage and green lentils; Germans, lentil or split pea soup with sausage; and the Japanese must eat kuromame â€' sweet black soy beans â€' within three days of the New Year.
It is also said that because black-eyed peas grow larger as they cook the person who eats them with grow in good fortune and experience plenty of good luck in the coming year.Fish:
Eat fish for good fortune and abundance. In many European cultures fish is the primary entree on the New Year's table. Primarily because it was easily preserved and salt cod or herring have always been readily available.
It is a lucky food because the scales resemble money in both shape and color. The silver and round scales are similar to coins and because fish swim in schools this represents abundance.Fruit:
Figs, pomegranates and grapes represent various good fortune in the new year.
Long associated with abundance and fertility, pomegranates are eaten in Turkey and other Mediterranean countries for luck in the New Year. Figs are also eaten for fertility.
An old Spanish tradition that has spread to South America and Mexico is to eat 12 grapes for each stroke of midnight. You must finish all 12 grapes by the final stroke. If all of the grapes are sweet you will have a great year. If a grape is sour that means one month will be sour. So if your sixth grape is sour June could be rocky.Noodles:
Most of the legends about noodles come from Asian countries and are specific to soba noodles made from buckwheat flour. Because the noodles are long they represent longevity in life. But be careful the noodle cannot break before you get it in your mouth.Pork:
Any type of meat from the pig is lucky for various reasons. Pigs root forward when foraging so they represent forward progress. Also, because the pig is rotund with a rich fat content pork signifies prosperity, abundance and happiness.Cakes and Cookies:
Any type of cake that is round or ring-shaped symbolizes coming full circle. Many cultures have various traditional cakes to celebrate the occasion.
In Italy they eat chiacchiere, a sweet fritter with a hole in the middle made from fried pasta dough or struffoli which is a ring made of dozens of tiny fried dough balls held together by honey and dusted with powdered sugar and candied fruit.
Poland, Hungary and the Netherlands eat donuts, and Holland has oliebollen â€' puffy, donut-like pastries filled with apples, raisins and currants.
Often the cakes have a trinket or coin baked inside like Mexico's rosca de reyes a ring-shaped cake decorated with candied fruit and baked with one or more surprises inside. In Greece, a special round cake called vasilopita is baked with a coin hidden inside. Whoever receives the piece of cake with the coin will have the luckiest year of anyone at the table.Corn Bread:
Anything made with cornmeal, specifically corn bread is lucky because of its golden color. The shape of cornbread is also significant because a piece of cornbread resembles a gold bar.Unlucky Food:
While there are many foods that represent good things in the New Year there are also some you should avoid or 2013 may be a difficult year.
Chicken is discouraged because the bird scratches backwards. It is actually unlucky to eat any type of bird on New Year's Eve or Day because any good luck you may have could fly away.
Another food to avoid is lobster. Lobsters also move backwards and therefore represent setbacks in the coming year.Texas Corn Bread
1 cup yellow cornmeal
½ cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
½ cup sweet milk
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup melted shortening
In a mixing bowl combine the first three ingredients thoroughly. Then add the remaining ingredients without mixing. Grease the muffins or corn-stick pans well and heat. Stir up the mixtures thoroughly and pour into the hot pans. Bake at 450 degrees until done. The bread will be moist and brown on the bottom.
Recipe from "Helen Corbitt's Cookbook"Soba Noodle Salad with Thai Red Curry Sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon red Thai curry paste
One 14-ounce can whole tomatoes -- drained and chopped, juices reserved
3/4 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon Asian fish sauce
1 pound bok choy -- stems thinly sliced, leaves coarsely chopped
6 ounces soba noodles
2 tablespoons thinly sliced pickled ginger
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1/2 cup roasted cashews
1/2 cup bean sprouts
1 scallion, thinly sliced
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. In a medium saucepan, heat the vegetable oil. Add the red curry paste and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and their juices and boil over moderately high heat until reduced to 3/4 cup, about 4 minutes. Add the chicken stock, coconut milk and brown sugar and simmer over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice and fish sauce. This can be made up to two days in advance. Line a plate with paper towels. Add the bok choy stems and leaves to the boiling water and cook until crisp-tender, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bok choy to the paper towels and pat dry. Add the soba to the boiling water and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain the soba and rinse in a colander under cold water. Let stand for 5 minutes, tossing occasionally, until dry. Transfer the soba to a large bowl. Add the pickled ginger, sesame seeds, 1 cup of the red curry sauce and all but 1/2 cup of the bok choy leaves and toss well. Arrange the soba salad in shallow bowls and drizzle with the remaining sauce. Garnish with the cashews, bean sprouts, scallion and the remaining bok choy and serve.
Recipe from Food & Wine MagazineBlack-Eyed Peas and Sausage
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1-14 ounce package of Polska kielbasa
1 cup chopped yellow onions
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
4 cloves garlic, peeled
5 sprigs fresh thyme
4 bay leaves
3 tsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
8 cups chicken stock
1 lb. dried black-eyed peas, rinsed, sorted and soaked overnight
1 Tbsp. minced garlic.
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add sausage, stirring occasionally until browned, about 5 minutes. Add onions, cayenne pepper, garlic cloves, thyme, bay leaves and parsley. Cook, stirring often until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add chicken stock, black-eyed peas, and minced garlic; bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered until peas are tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove bay leaves before serving.
Recipe adapted by Howard Thompson, Tyler Morning Telegraph Web Administration Manager from Emeril LagasseItalian Legume and Chestnut Soup
1/2 cup of pearled barley
1/2 cup of lentils
1/2 cup of dried peas
1/2 cup of white beans
1/2 cup of chickpeas
15 fresh chestnuts, peeled and halved
1/4 cup olive oil
1 carrot, diced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 stalk of celery, diced
1 clove of garlic
6 cups vegetable broth
4 sage leaves
1 sprig of rosemary
salt and pepper
slices of toast
Soak separately, barley, lentils, peas, chickpeas and beans for 12 hours. In a large saucepan heat the oil and saute the onion, carrot, celery, chopped tomatoes, and whole garlic. Remove the garlic when it begins to brown. After the vegetables are cooked through and soft add drained bean mixture, broth, sage, rosemary, cover and cook for 45 minutes. Add the shelled and skinned chestnuts and continue cooking for about 45 minutes or until everything is well cooked. Stir occasionally adding hot water if necessary. At the end of cooking salt and pepper to taste. Pour the soup over slices of toast arranged on the bottom of the bowls.