The Edmond Sun


December 26, 2012

Lucky little bites: Traditional New Year’s dishes transform into fortune-packed appetizers


“Long noodles are associated with long life and good health,” says Hiroko Shimbo, author of “Hiroko’s American Kitchen” (Andrews McMeel, $24.99). Here she turns soba noodles into sushi rolls. Pair with your favorite cold dipping sauce.

Slice 1 medium mango, half an avocado and 1 peeled Kirby or pickling cucumber into 1/2-by-3 1/2-inch sticks. Slice 3 ounces smoked salmon into 1-inch-wide strips.

Divide 9 ounces soba noodles into 4 portions; bind one end of each together with a rubber band. Cook the noodles in a large pot of boiling water per package instructions. Drain; leave rubber bands on. Rinse noodles well under cold water; drain. Pat dry with a paper towel.

Lay a bamboo sushi rolling mat on your work surface; ready 4 sheets nori seaweed. Position 1 nori sheet on the mat with one edge flush with the mat edge nearest you. Place 1 bundle cooked noodles at the nori’s near edge, with the tied end protruding from the right side. Cut off the tied end; discard. Spread the noodles to cover two-thirds of the nori sheet, leaving the top exposed.

Place 2 avocado sticks, 3 each of the mango and cucumber sticks, and one-quarter of the salmon across the edge nearest you. Roll nori tightly around noodles. Make three more rolls; cut each into 8 pieces.

Makes: 32 pieces


The Southern tradition of eating black-eyed peas — or any field peas for that matter — for good luck often shows up in the pea-and-rice hoppin’ John. Here the legumes become a salsa-styled appetizer from Sheri Castle’s “The New Southern Garden Cookbook.” Serve with tortilla chips, or with saltines as they do in Texas, where it’s sometimes called Texas caviar.

Place 2 cups frozen black-eyed peas in a large saucepan. Add cold water to cover by 2 inches and a pinch of salt; heat to a boil. Skim off foam, reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain; transfer to a mixing bowl. (You may also use canned black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed.)

Stir in 1/4 cup each red wine vinegar and vegetable oil, 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon each ground black pepper and ground cumin; let beans cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

Stir in 1/2 cup fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained; 1/2 cup corn kernels; 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper; 1/4 cup finely chopped onion; 1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley; 1 to 2 pickled or fresh jalapenos, finely chopped; and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh or canned mild green chilies. Cover; refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. To serve, stir well and check seasoning.

Makes: 2 cups

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