Alas, New Year’s Eve approaches and if ever there was a time to draw from the traditions of our Southern elders, it is now. This group of culinarians – chefs and mixologists – have offered up their recipes for greeting the New Year. Their recipes and traditions are Southern heritage-inspired with the same promises of ushering in prosperity, abundance and sweetness in the same spirit as our ancestors.
Mixologist and chef Keri Myleka McKelvey is a proud Gullah woman, who believes it’s an insult to her family (especially her 94-year-old grandmother Sulie) and roots to not serve traditional foods on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. The owner of Wicked Liquid, a mobile mixology lab in Columbia, S.C., has been mixing cocktails and pouring drinks for over 20 years.
Keri likes to add a bit of luxury to her traditional New Year’s Eve and Day menu with her signature spin on the French 75 champagne cocktail: The New Year’s Blackberry Float. She replaces the citrus in the French 75 with blackberries for their sweetness.
Keri also suggests serving her Blackberry Float as an apéritif or served with a small plate such as a green salad or collard greens for the sweet and savory flavor bursts on the palate.
.75 oz Gin .25 oz Raspberry Liqueur
1 oz lime juice, freshly squeezed
1oz Pomegranate Thyme Simple Syrup
3oz Champagne Blackberry Caviar
Garnish: Sugar Dusted Blackberry
Add gin, raspberry liqueur, lime juice and simple syrup in a shaker with ice and shake until chilled. Add Blackberry Caviar to bottom of a chilled Champagne flute. Strain cocktail into a Champagne flute. Pour chilled Champagne Top with Champagne. Garnish with Blackberries.
Kale Caesar Salad (based on a recipe from Gimme Some Oven)
1 cups chopped Romaine lettuce
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese 2 oz Lime Caesar Dressing, below
LIME CAESAR DRESSING INGREDIENTS:
1/2 cup Kraft Caesar Dressing Parmesan cheese
3–4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Temicka “Chef Tweet” Moore is revving up to celebrate Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority’s Centennial in 2022. The Indiana native has been cooking for non-family since her college days, when she sold plates on campus. Her evolution involves owning several businesses, including an event venue. Chef Tweet’s joy can be found cooking as a caterer and preparing clients to entertain. Her company, Sincere Catering, offers a variety of services and features a menu that has been (and always will be) inspired by her two grandmothers: Susie B. Davis from Marion, Alabama and Theresa Moore of Fort Wayne, Indiana. The influence is Southern and rural.
A New Year’s Day tradition in the chef’s family is the Cousin’s Brunch. That’s where she incorporates every good luck element with spins on the favorite foods of the women in her family.
Chef Tweet’s Crab Grits Benedict
Fried Over Easy Egg
Crab Patty (think salmon patty but with shredded crab meat)
Fried Grit Cake (replaces hot water cornbread)
Lemon Garlic Butter (finely minced butter mixed with melted butter)
Prepare fresh crab meat like you’re preparing a salmon patty.
Fry grits into a flat patty.
Place crab patty on top of grits top, drizzle with lemon garlic butter, then add hot sauce and lemon wedge before topping with second grits patty.
Serve with a side of berries, apple slices and melon.
As cleaned chitlins cook, “sprinkle with the Spirit of the Ancestors”: Sea Salt, Seasoned Pepper, Garlic Powder.
Drop in a Whole Onion.
Add Red Wine Vinegar to taste.
Serve with Cole Slaw.
Vegan culinarian and cookbook author, Brooke Brimm and family, celebrate New Year’s Eve and Day with foods and libation that support their vegan lifestyle and spiritual goals. On New Year’s Eve, she and husband Craig, eat light in preparation for a January fast, but she prepares heartier vegan soul food fare for family not participating. But the focus is the same: health, wealth and prosperity in the New Year for their family and business ventures. Her menu is a nod to her father’s Gullah heritage and Craig’s family’s Virginia and Florida heritage. There is rice, black-eyed peas and greens for good fortune.
Sweet Glazed Vegan Meatballs (Featured in Vegan Soul Foodie Recipe Guide: Dishes So Decadent You Can Serve to Meat Lovers)
2 Beyond Burger patties, thawed
2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tsps)
1 TBSP shallots, minced
1 can black-eyed peas mashed
1/4 cup of plain bread crumbs
1 TBSP soy sauce, liquid aminos, or Tamari sauce
1 tsp cayenne pepper
4 TBSP maple syrup
With gloved hands mix burger patties, garlic, shallots, mashed peas, bread crumbs, soy sauce and cayenne pepper.
Roll into balls and line them up on a greased cookie sheet to bake for 30 minutes on 375 degrees.
Remove from oven brush maple syrup or a sauce like Argia B.’s Mumbo Sauce over them and place back into the oven for 10 minutes.
Black-eyed Peas Salad (featured in Vegan Soul Food Recipe Guide: 30 Plus Salads, Raw, Juices, & Smoothies)
2 limes, juiced
1 cup chopped parsley
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 cups cooked black-eyed peas (3 cups dried peas makes 5 cups cooked or use 2 cans, rinsed)
10 scallions, roughly chopped
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 avocado, diced
1 medium cucumber, seeded and finely chopped
1 habanero/Scotch bonnet pepper, de-stemmed, de-seeded, and minced
Himalayan pink sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
In a small bowl, whisk limes, parsley, olive oil, hot peppers and garlic.
Mix beans, scallions, sweet peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers in a large bowl. Coat with dressing. Salt and pepper to taste.
Black-eyed peas and rice
1/4 cup olive oil
4 tablespoons of vegan butter
1 large onion, chopped
4 stalks of celery, chopped
6 cloves fresh garlic, minced
½ pound dried black-eyed peas if using Instant Pot, otherwise use 3 cups cooked or 2 15-ounce cans low- or no-sodium beans
½ cup uncooked parboiled brown rice
1 15-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
6 cups water
3 tablespoons of mushroom seasoning
1 tablespoon of granulated garlic
1 tablespoon of onion powder
2 whole bay leaves
½ of jalapeño seeded and deveined.
3 teaspoons Himalayan Pink Salt
½ teaspoon smoke paprika
Pressure cooker/ Instant Pot Directions:
Sauté on medium heat, add onion and celery until translucent. Add the garlic and bay leaves and stir for 1-2 minutes.
Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot. Cover ingredients with water do not fill past the overfill line in the pot. Close the lid. Once the pot reaches pressure, cook for 25 minutes. Release the lid after 25 minutes. Stir and serve.
Pomegranate Holiday Drink
Pomegranate Holiday Drink
Juice of ½ a pomegranate
Two teaspoons of agave
3 tablespoons of triple sec
6 tablespoons of vodka
Chill, mix, and drink it up!
To make it virgin: Use ½ glass of sparkling water instead of vodka & triple sec.
Thank you to Keri, Temicka and Brooke for sharing their New Year’s Eve and Day traditions and recipes. Here’s wishing you a happy new year.