New Year's "Prosperity Caviar" Recipe
What is Prosperity Caviar?
Every New Year's Eve folks get together to celebrate the past year, to express hope for the one to come, and to enjoy foods that are traditionally meant to bring luck for the coming year. One of these food considered to be lucky is black eyed peas, particularly popular in the Southern United States.
There are several different theories as to why black - eyed peas are considered to be lucky. Some say that during the Civil War, Northern armies who attacked Southern farms burned many of the crops. However, for whatever reason, the soldiers left the black-eyed pea crop alone. Starving Confederate farmers soon found that the black-eyed pea was the only type of food still plentiful, and after that, folks in the South considered the legume to be lucky.
There are a number of different ways to serve up black-eyed peas on New Year's, including Hopping John, a mixture of peas, meat and spices served over rice. Prosperity Caviar, often also known as Texas Caviar, is sometimes served without the meat. There are a number of variations on this dish. This particular version is a mild dip which can be served with corn chips. Make it at least three hours, or up to 24 hours ahead of time. If you want to give your Prosperity Caviar an extra kick, add a tablespoon of Tabasco sauce or two carefully seeded and diced jalapeños.
- 2 15 oz cans black-eyed peas, cooked
- 1 15 oz can sweet corn
- 1 cup red cherry tomatoes, chopped
- 1 cup sweet orange snacking tomatoes, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, any color, seeded and chopped
- 2 bunches scallions, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon black pepper, ground
- 1 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- Chop up one container of red cherry tomatoes and pour into a large mixing bowl.
- Chop up one container of sweet orange snacking cherry tomatoes and add to the bowl.
- Carefully seed one bell pepper. Any color will do, although red or orange peppers make the Prosperity Caviar look more festive. Chop it up very finely. Add it to the bowl.
- Wash 2 bunches of scallions or green onions, Cut off and discard the ends. Cut into very thin slices from the bulb to about half-way through the green area. Add scallions to the bowl.
- Chop up one entire clove of fresh garlic and add to the bowl. Alternatively, you may throw in 2 tablespoons of minced garlic.
- Drain two cans of black-eyed peas and pour into the bowl.
- Drain one can of sweet corn and pour into the bowl.
- Add 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar.
- Add 1/4 cup of olive oil. Some recipes call for Italian salad dressing instead of the vinegar and oil.
- Add 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper.
- Add salt to taste.
- Stir up all ingredients very thoroughly. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least three hours. Serve as a dip with corn chips.
Other foods considered to be good luck on New Year's Eve include pork of different kinds, cornbread, and different kinds of greens. To complete your New Year's Eve meal with a southern twist, consider pairing this dip with pork tenderloin or glazed ham. You could also add some small pieces of crisply cooked bacon to the Prosperity Caviar. While this recipe calls for corn chips, you can make your meal heartier with some homemade cornbread. Some folks think that collard greens or turnip greens served on New Year's symbolize money. Serve these greens on the side - or choose cooked cabbage as your alternative lucky green vegetable.