Friday, January 1, 2021

Cooking with Rod

By Rod Cohenour

As we come to the end of an extraordinarily difficult year, we need to reevaluate and refocus on the things most important to us. For me that's family, friends, good health, peace, harmony, and - of course, good food!

We have put forth a recipe for a traditional New Year's good luck dish and, additionally we've provided a link to our column for New Year 2018 so you can pick and choose from the array of recipes provided. Also, the wife and I conspired to create a palate-pleasing dish that makes that leftover turkey into a warming, comforting chowder with a spicy twist.

Our menu for New Year's Day includes a glazed spiral ham, golden mashed potatoes, baked yams with cinnamon and brown sugar, Hoppin'John, Pineapple-Cranberry-Pecan Dressing, broccoli-cauliflower-carrot blend, Cornbread, and hot crusty dinner rolls.

It is our sincere desire to see our world break from the disastrous events that have haunted 2020 and to find our loved ones (friends and family) free to enjoy a year filled with health, wealth and joyous camaraderie.

May your New Year's feast fulfill the portent of better things to come. Bon appetit~!

Southwest Turkey Corn Chowder


  • 3 cups roasted turkey, diced
  • 2 (15 oz) cans corn, drained or use 3 cups fresh or frozen kernels
  • 6-8 stalks celery, de--string then chop in small moons, reserve leaves for garnish
  • 8 oz baby carrots, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 Bell Pepper, de-seeded, diced
  • 1/4 cup (4 Tbsp) butter
  • 32 oz. Chicken broth
  • 1 can green chiles (7 oz)
  • 1 can (10.5 oz) green chile enchilada sauce
  • 1 can (26 oz family size) cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup milk
  • 8 oz grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 3 cups rice, uncooked
  • 2 cups water


    1. Dice roasted turkey and set aside.
    2. Drain corn and set aside.
    3. Prep vegetables (celery, carrots, onion, and Bell Pepper). Melt butter in large stewpot, when melted add veggies. Saute over medium low heat until onion is transparent but not carmelizing.
    4. Add chicken broth, cover, and let simmer but do not boil or scorch.
    5. In large bowl, whisk together cream of chicken soup, milk, green chiles, and green chile enchilada sauce. Add dash of ground black pepper.
    6. Fold in grated cheddar cheese.
    7. Add turkey, corn kernels, soup mixture to the simmering vegetables. Stir well to fully incorporate. Let this simmer but stir often to prevent scorching.
    8. Add rice and water (NOTE: may need more or less to ensure enough liquid for rice, basmati types call for ratio of 2 to 1 liquid to rice. Instant rice requires equal amounts rice and liquid. Both methods result in a thick steamed rice mixture.)
    9. When rice is TENDER (cooked but Not mushy), check thickness of the chowder. If too thick, add a bit of milk to achieve your desired thickness.
    Serve hot. You may garnish with grated cheddar cheese, celery or cilantro leaves, chopped green onions (stalks and bulbs) or even a dollop of sour cream. A hot pan of cornbread with tableside butter is a fabulous accompaniment.

Hoppin' John

Hoppin' John

For peas:

  • 1 Tbsp corn oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 Tbsp butter (or oleo or margarine)
  • 3 cups ham chunks, fully cooked
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, de--string and cut in half moons
  • 1 small or medium Bell Pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or about 1 Tbsp from jar
  • 1 lb. Pkg. dried blackeyed peas, picked over, rinsed thoroughly and drained
  • 32 oz chicken broth
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • Dash salt or Mrs. Dash (prefer blend used with poultry)
  • 2 tsp chile powder

For Rice:

  • 2 cups rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 med. can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 med. can stewed tomatoes with bell pepper and onions
  • 1 sm. can tomatoes with chiles (Rotel type)


    1. Prepare peas. Pick over to remove stones, grit etc. Rinse several times in colander. When clean and drained, put in stewpot and cover with water plus one inch. Bring to boil. Boil one minute. Remove from heat, cover and allow to sit overnight.
    2. Next day. Drain and rinse peas. Set aside in colander to drain fully.
    3. Prep onion, celery, and Bell Pepper. Set aside. Add butter and oil to stewpot and heat until butter is melted. Add ham chunks and let brown then stir and brown all sides. Remove ham, set aside.
    4. Add diced veggies back into stewpot, stir with wooden spoon to loosen ham brownings. Add more butter if necessary. Saute veggies in pan with pot liquor and butter, stirring almost continually until onion is translucent, 3-5 minutes.
    5. Add peas, ham, and chicken broth to veggies in stewpot. Add minced garlic, black pepper, chile powder, and Mrs. Dash or pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat immediately, let simmer until peas are tender, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Add water or broth as necessary as liquid tends to evaporate.
    6. Meanwhile, prepare rice. Place rice and water in small stewpot. Cook per directions on rice packaging. When steamed and fluffy, add fire roasted tomatoes, stewed tomatoes and Rotel. Stir well. Cook gently until tomatoes are heated through.
    7. Serve peas with ham over spicy tomato rice mixture.

Tomato Rice


This dish is a traditional New Year recipe. Its ingredients are said to ensure blessings throughout the coming NEW YEAR. Ham foretells sufficient food, peas bring good luck, tomatoes bring health, and Hoppin'John should be served with golden cornbread which symbolizes "gold in hand".

New Year 2018 column link:
Cooking with Rod, New Year 2018

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.


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