Every year on New Year's Day, Southerners everywhere consume three very traditional foods for good luck: pork/ham, cabbage, and black-eyed peas. To be honest, cabbage and black-eyed peas are probably my LEAST favorite foods ever; however, over the years, due to tradition, I've come to like them better.
While I typically like to stick to traditions, this year for New Years I decided to go in a different direction and put my own spin on things. I came up with the idea while cooking Christmas dinner... I think I was just a tad "over" with making mashed potatoes, mac 'n' cheese, etc - things you typically eat during the holidays and wanted something that tasted fresh to kick the year off.
My idea was to put a bit of a TexMex + Polynesian spin on things:
- I love making fried chicken for New Years, so I thought I'd make fried chicken tacos.
- To make the batter, whisk 3 eggs in 1 bowl and in another bowl mix 2 cups of flour, 2 tbsp of Cavendars Greek Seasoning, 1-2 tbsp of Tony Chacherie's seasoning, 1 tsp cayenne pepper (whisk all dry ingredients together well). Dip moist chicken in flour mixture once, dip in the egg, then back in the flour, drop in a hot greased frying pan (I use 1 stick of Crisco - yep, southern tradition). Fry until golden brown and chicken is juicy and cooked thoroughly (don't overcook it!)
- To make the tacos, slice the fried chicken into strips, place 2-3 strips onto tortilla (you can use flour or corn, or even jicama tortillas!), garnish with a garlic aoili (mayo, lemon juice, minced garlic), purple cabbage strips (there's the cabbage!) and then special part comes next: I grilled pineapple slices that were seasoned in Tajin and wrapped in serrano jamon (thinly sliced Spanish ham). YUM.
- Next, I made black-eyed pea salsa. Easy to make, delicious to eat with the tacos or with tortilla chips. In a food processor, add 5-6 halved Roma tomatoes (just so they chop easier), 1/2 white onion, 2 cloves of garlic, a sprig of cilantro (you can add more, but I genuinely HATE cilantro ha), and a 1/2 jalapeño (I accidentally used a full jalepeño, and BOY did it have some kick!). Chop as finely or thick in your food processor as you like it (I like it pretty finely chopped). Finally, pour the contents into your favorite bowl, and mix in 1 small can of black-eyed peas, and mix in with the salsa. Let it set for a few hours in the fridge so the peas can take on the full-flavor, then serve with the tacos and chips.