The Early Show's resident chef, Bobby Flay, has a great idea for you to try on New Year's Eve: Stay home and cook!
On Thursday, Flay suggested a traditional Southern recipe that's supposed to bring good luck in the new year. Of course, Flay adds lots of his own touches, as well.
It's called Hoppin' John, and Flay's version is called Hoppin' John with Champagne Beurre Blanc.
Flay told co-anchor Tracy Smith, "Southerners swear by the fact that the first thing you eat every New Year's is 'Hoppin' John,' which is black-eyed peas and rice."
The peas are supposed to bring good luck so, says Flay, the first thing you eat at the stroke of midnight is Hoppin' John, perhaps with some champagne.
Champagne Beurre Blanc: According to About.com, "beurre blanc" translates into English as "white butter." It's a rich, buttery, slightly tangy sauce usually associated with the cuisine of the Loire Valley. It's typically used to accompany the fairly bland river fish of the area. A classic of French cuisine is the Brochet au beurre blanc or Loire Pike with butter sauce.
There is a friendly controversy between Nantes and the Anjou region over who can claim to be the birthplace of the sauce. The Angevins insist that real beurre blanc can only be made with the local gray shallots, that shallots should not be strained out of the sauce, and that it was first used as a sauce for pike at the restaurant La Poissonnière in Anger.
Very logical reasoning, says Flay, but he likes the story from Nantes a bit better. It takes place around the turn of the century in the kitchens of château of the Marquis de Goulaine. His kitchen staff was preparing for an important dinner under the direction of his head cuisinière, Madame Clémence Lefeuvre. She was very busy preparing the pike and asked an assistant to make a bérnaise sauce, which she liked to serve with the fish. The assistant forgot to add the tarragon and the egg yolks but there was no time to start over, so Clémence decided to serve the sauce as it was. After the meal, the Marquis asked Clémence to come into the dining room where, of course, she expected to be reprimanded. Instead, he praised her new preparation and gave it the name of "beurre blanc." Clémence soon took it and opened her own auberge.
Although they can't agree on the birthplace of the sauce, both will tell you that the inclusion of cream is not an "authentic" beurre blanc.
There are hundreds of recipes for creating the perfect beurre blanc. The one in the segment is the one Flay loves.
Hoppin' John: A dish of black-eyed peas cooked with salt, pork or other fatty meat, and seasonings. Hoppin' John is thought to have originated with African slaves on Southern plantations. The dish is traditionally served on New Year's Day for good luck. It is traditionally made with ham hock and served over white rice. Flay serves his over risotto. He also uses slab bacon, as opposed to ham hock. Ham hock isn't difficult to find, but slab bacon is much more accessible and easier to use for home cooks.
Go to page 2 for recipes.
Pan Roasted Prawns with Champagne Beurre Blanc & Hoppin' John Risotto
1/2 pound dried black-eyed peas
1 pound applewood smoked slab bacon
6 sprigs fresh thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 cups homemade chicken stock or low sodium canned chicken broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium Spanish onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
1. Pick over the black-eyed peas to remove dirt and stones. Soak them in water to cover at least 4 hours or overnight.
2. Drain the peas and transfer to a medium saucepan. Cut the slab of bacon in half crosswise and add one of the halves to the saucepan along with the thyme sprigs. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to medium and simmer until tender, 45 to 55 minutes, season with salt and pepper. Drain the peas, if needed, transfer to a bowl and remove the bacon and thyme sprigs
3. Cut the remaining half of bacon into small dice. Place the bacon in a medium sauté pan over medium heat and cook until golden brown and crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.
4. Put the stock in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat.
5. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add the onions and cook until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the rice and cook for 2 minutes, until lightly toasted and opaque. Add the wine and cook until completely reduced. Add 2 cups of the hot liquid and stir until evaporated. Repeat with the remaining liquid, adding 1 cup at a time until the rice is al dente, 20 to 25 minutes. Stir in the black-eyed peas and chopped thyme and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the risotto to a large shallow bowl and top with the crisp bacon.
Pan Roasted Prawns
3 tablespoons olive oil
12 prawns (U10 size), head and shell left on
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Finely chopped chives
Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over high heat until almost smoking. Add the prawns in an even layer and cook until lightly golden brown, 1-2 minutes. Turn the prawns over and continue cooking until just cooked through, 2-4 minutes longer. Keep warm.
Champagne Beurre Blanc
2 cups Champagne or other dry sparkling wine 1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar or other white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh tarragon or fresh thyme or fresh parsley
1. Place the Champagne, shallots, vinegar and peppercorns in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Let cook until the liquid is reduced to 1/4 cup. Begin whisking in the butter a few pieces at a time and continue whisking until the sauce is emulsified. Season with salt and whisk in the tarragon. Keep warm.