Saturday, December 31, 2011

Tradition

Of all the traditions we observe, maybe the one that is strongest and the one that pretty much remains unchanged is the traditional southern New Year's Day dinner. There is no way that our family would not eat peas, collards and pork on that day. We've been told since childhood that eating peas and collards guarantees wealth for the coming year. (Peas represent coins and the collards represent folding money.) 

I don't know for sure if that is true but there is no way that any of us are chancing it. However much you have, it could be less! Even just a bite counts. The non-collards-lover can hold their breath and swallow one bite. This meal also needs cornbread.

Now, I have cooked the pork in assorted ways over the years--pork chops and brown rice, pork loin in the crockpot, and BBQ. But for the last few years, this recipe has been our favorite.

Bourbon Marinated Pork Tenderloin

2-1/2 lb. pork tenderloins (usually one package contains 2 tenderloins and is about this weight)

3/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup bourbon
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon salt

Rinse tenderloins and pat dry.
Combine soy sauce and next 9 ingredients in a large zip-loc plastic freezer bag or shallow dish. Add tenderloins. Seal bag or cover dish and chill 4-12 hours. Remove pork from marinade, discarding marinade. Sprinkle tenderloins evenly with salt.

Grill, covered with grill lid, over high heat (400 to 500 degrees) for 30 minutes or until meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of meat reads 155 degrees, turning occasionally. Remove from heat; cover with aluminum foil and let stand 10 minutes or until thermometer reads 160 degrees.

OR it can be cooked in the oven.
Put tenderloins in an oven that has been preheated to 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes, until thermometer reaches 160 degrees. Let rest before serving.

If we only eat one of the tenderloins, I will freeze the other. It makes a really good quick meal for a busy day. Just pull it out in the morning and thaw in the refrigerator until dinner time.

And here is my favorite way to cook collard greens. It's so much easier to start with the frozen chopped greens than to do the fresh ones. And we think they are just as good. I will tell you that I cook them in a Nesco cooker set up on our screened porch. Keeps the "aroma" out of the house. I usually cook them a day or two before New Year's and just reheat them.

Collard Greens

1/2 lb. smoked meat (ham hocks, smoked turkey wings or smoked neck bones--I use turkey wings)
2-3 teaspoons House Seasoning*
1-2 teaspoons Lawrys' Seasoning Salt
2 bags frozen chopped collards (or 1 large bunch of fresh collards, cleaned and sliced)
1 tablespoon butter

In a large pot, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil and add smoked meat, house seasoning and seasoned salt. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 1 hour.
Add frozen greens and butter. Cook for 1 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Adjust seasoning to taste.

*House Seasoning: 1 cup salt, 1/4  cup black pepper, 1/4 cup garlic powder. Mix together and store in airtight container.


I won't promise you'll be rich in 2012, but I'll promise you will have a good meal to start the year!

1 comment:

Mary said...

YUM on the pork. Collard greens--I'd be a breath-holder.