As regular readers know Dolores was very fond of Holiday Traditions and Food on New Years Day had a double impact. One old saying in St. Croix is to be careful of how you start the New Year because you will probably live the whole year the same way. So never argue or fight with anybody, avoid being tired or terribly hung over and get outside and do something healthy.
Another issue is what are the lucky foods to eat to start the year off correctly. One tradition from the states holds that eating cabbage and pork will bring you luck and prosperity. Another almost logical one is pork and collard greens. The better cuts of pork will have you living high on the hog all year long and the collard greens will bring green money to you. Another one is Lechon and Green Fig. The former is seasoned roasted pork and the latter is a tossed salad of boiled green bananas.
I couldn’t think of a single reason to break tradition and I had a frozen 5 oz piece of pork tenderloin and you cant get much higher on the hog than that. I brought a one pound piece and cut it in thirds right away so I decided to stuff one piece with a delightful yet simple blend of a Tablespoon of Pesto and a Tablespoon of Gorgonzola blended together with the back side of the fork.
I decided to grill it because I didn’t want to start the new years by creating and cleaning up after a mess in the kitchen so I built the entire meal around roasting my slab of meat on a piece of aluminum foil on the grill. Of course I slow cooked the meat on the colder side of the grill and folded up the edges to preserve the stuffing that leaked out as the meat cooked. This was cooked for a half hour turning once.
Not to waste my fire I decided on a roasted beet because I had heard so much positive about the caramelized rich sugars and the bold earthy flavor so just had to try it since the heat was free and once again there was no cleanup. This was simple enough; put the beet on a piece of foil and lift up the edges. Pour some olive oil to coat the entire beet and close the foil. This was cooked on the hotter side of the banked fire for an hour.
The cabbage was coleslaw and simple to make. I used a cup of that per-shredded stuff that you get at the grocery store and mixed the following ingredients in the bowl prior to adding the cup of cabbage to the bowl and tossing it to coat all of the pieces.
2 T mayonnaise
1 T distilled white vinegar
1 T lemon or lime juice
1 tsp brown sugar
¼ tsp salt
Pepper to taste
Mix well and stir in 1 cup of shredded cabbage
The coleslaw and pork were fantastic and that is the extent of my traditions as outlined by Dolores.
Now the beet is a different story. If you love beets, this is just one more way to cook them and it is easy enough to do. I have learned to love borscht and pickled beets but this was your typical earthy tasting bland beet. The sprinkle of Gorgonzola didn’t help. I perked them up with my old standby, Balsamic Vinegar, and was able to say that they were good enough for me to eat it all up and start my year with a very healthy meal.
Well, I started my year with a great meal and a clean kitchen. Nothing could be finer so it must be Paradise or at least I’m grilling in January which is fine with me as I hate the cold.