It is hard to believe a new year is upon us.  Where did the time go?  As well, I cannot believe this is the last post for the wine and seasonal food series we have been working on with Francis Ford Coppola in 2015, featuring their Diamond Collection Wines.  We decided to revisit an old favorite from the collection, the Sauvignon Blanc, which we shared earlier during the fall.  This time keeping with New Year’s traditions we are pairing it with our recipe for Lucky Black Eyed Peas.

Lucky Black Eyed Peas

Keeping with eating lighter and healthier this month, I decided to serve the Diamond Collection Sauvignon Blanc with this recipe. What I enjoy about this wine is how refreshing and bright it is. Crisp on the first sip with a light mineral base that pairs with many foods from cheese to creamy soups. This tropical fruit forward wine pairs perfectly with the smoky ham and Bukovo Chili flakes that season the black-eyed peas and collard greens. Being such a light wine, it is perfect on the waistline for those wanting to cut back a bit this January.

By now you know that we are not overly traditional at Chez Us, and we like to serve you what we like no matter what time of the year it is.  Just so happens that this recipe probably should have been shared days ago, but we do not settle into the new year until after the hustle and bustle of the holidays;  which for us, starts after the 1st.  We are usually finishing up traveling, and settling back home with enough time to enjoy the last magical moments of Christmas and a couple more bottles of bubbly.  Then we begin thinking of a hearty meal to kick off the year before settling into new goals to accomplish for the year ahead.  I usually serve Hoppin John for our first new year meal that is cooked at home.  After enjoying a southern meal of collards and pork, while in Boston, the day after Christmas, I decided to change our plans this year.

Blacked Eyed Peas are a traditional legume that is served for the New Year as it is said to bring good luck and fortune your way.  The tradition of the dish has deep Southern roots, and I have read that it began after the Civil War when soldiers raided the food supplies and took everything but the black-eyed peas.  Supposedly, in Jewish cultures, this sweet little bean brings good luck to the Jewish New Year, too.  We just happen to enjoy and cook with them often throughout the year.  For fun, we enjoy adding the bean to our first new year meal.

For this recipe, I used dried beans which can be tedious for some, and if that is the case for you, then please use canned ones.  Be sure to rinse well and skip the long soak and cooking steps that I outline.  This recipe for Lucky Black Eyed Peas is seasoned with onions, garlic, lots of smoked ham, winter collard greens and Bukovo Chili Flakes, which happen to be my latest chili obsession.  The dish is hearty but light;  bursting with smokiness and flavor.  The wine pairing compliments all the flavors and brings everything together.  A nice comforting meal to enjoy while pondering over those 2016 goals.

Happy New Year!


Lucky Black Eyed Peas


Thank you for joining us at the Chez Us table;  we love having you here.

Have you made this recipe?  Please share what recipes you are enjoying from our site with us – we’d love to see them.  You can use the hashtag #chezuseats and then we can pull a chair up to your virtual table! 


More recipes we developed and paired with Francis Ford Coppola Diamond Collection Wines:

Braciole – paired with Diamond Collection Red Blend

Lamb Stew – paired with Diamond Collection Claret

Roast Pork Loin with Sweet Peas – paired with Diamond Collection Pinot Noir

Springtime Quiche – paired with Diamond Collection Chardonnay

Grilled St Louis Ribs with Gochujang Raspberry BBQ Sauce – paired with Diamond Collection Malbec

Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms – paired with Diamond Collection Pinot Grigio

Italian Style Grilled Rib Eye Steaks – paired with Diamond Collection Zinfandel 

Grilled Jimmy Nardello Pancetta Pizza – paired with Diamond Collection Pavilion Chardonnay

Old Fashioned Meatloaf – paired with Diamond Collection Merlot

Labneh Cheese Ball – paired with Diamond Collection Sauvignon Blanc

Potato and Celeriac Root Dauphinoise – paired with Diamond Collection Petite Sirah 

Prime Rib – paired with Diamond Collection Cabernet

Oyster Bar – paired with Sofia Blanc de Blancs


Lucky Black Eyed Peas


2 ounces dried black-eyed peas or canned (2 15 ounce cans) f not using dried
1 large yellow onion
3 garlic closes with skin on
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large garlic clove, finely minced
1 cup diced smoked ham
1 bunch collard greens, stalk removed and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon chili flakes or 1/2 teaspoon regular chili flakes
kosher salt to taste

How To:

If you using dried black-eyed peas soak overnight in the refrigerator. If you are using canned peas skip this step as well as the next 3 steps.
Drain the black-eyed peas. Cut the onion in half leaving the skin on half of it.
In a large dutch oven place the black eyed peas along with the 1/2 of the onion with the skin on it, the 3 garlic cloves, and the bay leaves. Fill the pan with cold water, with about 3 inches of water on the top of the peas. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a low simmer. Cook until tender but not mushy. This will take about 45 – 60 minutes.
Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Then strain the peas and set aside.
Finely mince the remaining half of the onion without the skin.
In the same Dutch oven over low heat add the ham, onion and the minced garlic cook for 3 minutes.
Add the collard greens and the reserved cooking liquid. Stir and cook over low heat for 8 – 10 minutes just the greens are slightly soft. Add the chili flakes and stir.
Stir in the blacked eyed peas and olive oil, then season with salt and gently warm over low heat.


**disclaimer:  This post is brought to you in collaboration with Francis Ford Coppola Winery, for which we are being compensated for the work done with them.  All content, photos, and opinions are of our own and were not influenced by other parties.  Thank you for supporting sponsors that allow us to create new and exciting content like this for Chez Us.

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