Many cultures celebrate crossing into a new year in intriguing and unique ways. My family, as I was growing up practiced a very Texan New Year’s Day tradition almost religiously. It is customary to find a pot of black-eyed peas and a pot of cabbage boiling or simmering quietly as friends and family gathered to celebrate the New Year. In my travels, I found some other Southerners engaged in a similar tradition but all of my Texan friends I ran into abroad, made cabbage and black-eyed peas exclusively on New Year’s Day. While I do not know the true origin of this tradition, I do know the meaning and symbolism of its practice. Black-eyed peas represent “good luck” in the New Year and cabbage represents “money” or “wealth and prosperity”. By consuming these two things, you are starting the year off with hopes of positivity and a prosperous year. I’m not one to break the tradition and will be headed to my older brother’s to eat a nice bowl of black-eyed peas with cabbage on the side and whatever other delightful nibbles they have prepared. If I were staying home I would be preparing the same dish however in a less traditional fashion.
One of my favorite ways to eat black-eyed peas is “Texas Caviar” a culinary masterpiece attributed to notable Texan Helen Corbitt. The best recipe for Texas Caviar is found on Texas Monthly’s website in an article which mentions the popular black-eyed pea tradition.
For the cabbage recipe, I knew I couldn’t rely on websites and blog; I had to go straight to the source of my culinary roots. I called my mom. After a quick conversation and a long email (she decided to write a blog post for me, how cute), I became the proud owner of my mom’s extraordinary cabbage recipe.
Mama’s Cabbage Recipe
2 Tablespoons Olive oil
2 Teaspoons Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
1Teaspoon Szechuan Marinade
1Poblano Pepper (washed and diced)
1Teaspoon Sea Salt
1 Teaspoon Mrs. Dash Table Blend
1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne
1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 Teaspoon Lawry’s Season
2 Cans Chicken Broth or (2 cups water)
- Cut the stem from the bottom if still attached, a lot of cabbages already have this removed.
- Remove the dark green leaves and set aside.
- Slice the cabbage in half, and then quarter the halves.
- Take each quarter and cut into 1 to 2 inches, place in a bowl.
- Now take the green leaves and wash them thoroughly using your hands to rub the leaves together.
- Lay the green leaves on top of each other and slice; you should have 3 stacks of greens now. Stack on top of each other and cut into 1 to 2-inch slices. Set aside.
- Wash the quartered cabbage thoroughly and drain.
- Put your 3 to 4-quart pot on the stove and pour in the chicken broth or water.
- Add 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil to the pot let it come to a boil.
- Mix the Balsamic Modena in a small bowl with the Szechuan Marinade stir
- Add to the pot, go ahead and place the dark leafy greens you set aside to the pot.
- Wash the poblano pepper, remove all seeds and the stem, now dice and add to pot.
- Stir all the remaining spices together in a small bowl, Sea Salt, Mrs. Dash Table Blend, Cayenne, Garlic Powder, Lawry’s,
- Sprinkle half of the seasonings in the boiling water with dark greens.
- Add the rest of the cabbage to the pot then sprinkle the remaining seasonings on top.
- Place the top on the pot and let come to a good boil. Now stir with a large spoon from the bottom turning greens from the bottom and moving to the top. Let continue cooking and stirring frequently for at least 30 to 40 minutes.
Tip: Sometimes I find a good Beef, Kielbasa, or Turkey sausage slice into pieces sauté it with one diced onion and add to the cabbage.
Happy New Year from Two Girls Taste Texas! May it be full of good luck, peace, blessings and prosperity!