When I married, my husband--normally more than happy to snarf down anything I put in front of him-- could never get his palate around the anchovy sauce, and I pretty much quit eating back-eyed peas the year I turned 18. My children don't have these traditions, and for some reason--that saddens me. Call it middle age or just misplaced nostalgia, but this year I'm ringing in the New Year with fried fish, anchovy sauce and black-eyed peas. Auld Lang Syne, my friends, auld lang syne.
1. Purchase about 2 lbs of a mild, but firm white fish, like haddock or flounder, scaled and filleted. Avoid tilapia, it's too fragile for this recipe.
2. In a small bowl mix about 2 cups of Italian bread crumbs and 2 Tbs dried parsley.
3. In a small pie plate or fluted dish, vigorously beat 2 eggs until the whites and yolks are fully blended.
4. Heat about 1/4 inch of olive oil in a large frying pan until just smoking.
5. Dredge a fish fillet with the egg wash, then dredge it through the breadcrumbs so that it is fully coated on both sides, and then dredge it through the egg wash one more time. Fry it until golden brown. Repeat with every piece of fish until you're done. You may need to mix up more egg wash and breadcrumbs.
2. Serve over the fried fish and a generous helping of rotini pasta.
1. Rinse and clean one pound of dried black-eyed peas. Drain.
2. Chop and saute over medium heat one small onion until soft and translucent--about 10 minutes.
3. Add the now-cleaned beans to a large sauce pan, and cover with water--about 4 cups. Add the cooked onion and one ham hock.
4. Simmer over medium-low heat until tender. Drain any excess water. Remove the hammock and add any bits of meat to the beans. Salt and pepper to taste. Remark on how much better these taste since when you were a kid.
5. Have a very Happy New Year.