My husband introduced me to the Eastern European tradition of eating pork on New Year's Day when we were dating some 20 years ago. The ubiquitous roast pork and sauerkraut just doesn't float my boat, though. One year, Bob made Hoppin' John. This southern treatment of black eyed peas is also supposed to be eaten at the New Year for good luck, but his version just didn't make me want to eat it again.
This year, we decided to make Michael Symon's Christmas Ham with Habanero Glaze for New Year's Day. We had two ham sections still left from our 2011 Breychak Farm Berkshire hog, and this seemed a great way to use one. But one look at Michael Ruhlman's New Year's Eve post also inspired us to add Hoppin' John to the menu. And this time, it was plate-licking good. Of course, the Breychak Farm bacon probably had something to do with that.
Sorry the ham got short shrift. We didn't have a full shank portion, so we couldn't get the skin all crispy and luscious-looking as the photo accompanying Symon's recipe depicts. But it tasted awfully good! Fun playing with food to start the New Year - hope yours was Happy!