On New Year’s Day, people all over the Gulf Coast eat some form of black-eyed peas and cabbage to invite good luck and prosperity in the coming year. Though some say the pea (a seed) is to remind us of new life and new beginnings, the most commonly held notion is that the round peas are symbolic of coins. The cabbage is meant to symbolize, well, green — the color of our paper currency. We used kale for this recipe, but almost any greens will do. Kale, mustard greens, collard greens and turnip greens are all part of the brassica oleracea family, which makes them relatives of cabbage.
Year of Gumbo
New Year’s Day Black-Eyed Pea Gumbo
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
¾ cup vegetable oil
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup diced yellow onion
½ cup diced green bell pepper
½ cup diced celery
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 cup chopped smoked sausage or andouille
3 quarts chicken stock
1 cup black-eyed peas, cooked and drained
1 bunch kale or greens, washed and slice into ribbons
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
Steamed rice, for serving
In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Slowly whisk in the flour and continue whisking until the roux begins to turn brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
Add the onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic to the roux and cook, stirring, until vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. Add the smoked sausage and stir. Add the stock and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Simmer over medium-low heat, skimming occasionally, until flavors meld, at least 45 minutes.
Stir the black-eyed peas and greens into the gumbo. Return to a simmer, then season with salt, pepper and hot sauce. Serve with steamed rice.