Here’s a little addendum to my response to Madeleine’s Hoppin’ John request in the previous post.
1. Adding a little diced celery, carrot, and sweet red pepper to the initial sautÃ© of onions
and garlic brings extra flavor and flecks of color.
2. After the rice is steamed up in the Hoppin’ John pot, it’s fine to add a little liquid to “loosen things”
and allow the creaminess of the peas come out.
3. It is always one’s Good Fortune to eat such a tasty bowl. Don’t save it for New Year’s Day alone.
4. Good Fortune is increased when you top with fresh braised kale!
It’s brilliant: one bowl contains perfect food elements: fragrant rice, sweet peas, salt and heat
and a little earthy bitter green.
I used beautiful Red Russian Kale, grown by Allison and Matthew Neal
2 T. olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
3 scallions, chopped (use the whole scallion-white and green)
1 bunch fresh kale, washed, torn into pieces
salt and red pepper flakes–to taste
In a skillet with medium heat, add olive oil. Add garlic and scallions and sautÃ© for a minute or two.
Add kale and stir to coat the leaves. Season with a little salt and red pepper flakes.
Continue sautÃ©ing. The leaves will collapse and sweat. After about 5 minutes, pour a cup of water over the kale. Stir and cover to gently braise for another 5 minutes. Uncover and allow any excess liquid to cook down–but not totally evaporate. Leaves will be tender.