New Year’s Nosh

It’s the last day of 2007, ladies and gentlemen! And you can’t ring in the New Year properly without the appropriate New Year’s Nosh.

An old tradition in the South (and here in Texas, which I don’t really consider to be a part of the South, but that’s a whole other story…) is to have black-eyed peas on New Year’s Eve. A New Year’s Eve spent without black-eyed peas all but guarantees that you’ll have bad luck in the coming year, so I suggest you get yourself down to the grocery store ASAP for some black-eyed peas and saltpork and fire up that crock pot. You’ll thank me next year.

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Another tradition around our house is to have caviar on New Year’s Eve, as a once-a-year indulgence. We hit up Liebman’s for some divine sevruga caviar a few days before and keep it nice and chilled until the day of. Serve the caviar with wooden or mother-of-pearl utensils (so as not to spoil the taste) on pieces of mini-toast with a glass of champagne, and even if you’re just sitting in your living room watching yet another Dick Clark’s Rocking New Year’s Eve, it’ll be a smashing time.

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However, if caviar isn’t an option for you (for monetary, dietary or moral reasons), then let me provide you with a third option for your New Year’s fare which combines my two favorite New Year’s dishes into one: Texas Caviar.

Texas Caviar is a savory, spicy dish reminiscent of fattoush, except that it’s made with black-eyed peas instead of stale pita bread.  You can serve Texas Caviar and kill two birds with one stone: your black-eyed pea-induced luck will be taken care of, as will your desire for some luscious caviar.  It’s a winner all around!

Here are some recipes to get you started, but remember that Texas Caviar is ultimately a salad and therefore can be interpreted rather loosely, and no two recipes are the same.  Don’t like avocado?  Leave it out.  Prefer it less spicy?  Forget the jalapeños.  Try a bunch of recipes until you find one that you like; they’re healthy and delicious and will please a crowd, so you can’t really go wrong.

Texas Caviar from Allrecipes.com

Texas Caviar from Southern Living

Texas Caviar II from Southern Living (my old favorite!)

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Have a wonderful and safe New Year’s Eve!  As my extremely astute cousin always says, it’s amateur night out there tonight, so be extra careful on the roads and highways.  But above all, have fun!

The wonderful photo of Texas Caviar, above, is courtesy of Jason Perlow at Off the Broiler.

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