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Recipes for Celebrating Kwanzaa

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These Southern classics, African-inspired favorites, and Caribbean foods represent the culinary richness of the African diaspora,

  • Peanut Chile Chicken Skillet
    Recipe

    Crispy Peanut-Chile Chicken with Sweet Potatoes

    Peanut butter and chicken is one of the best combinations, bar none. Inspired by Ghanaian groundnut stew—which is chicken slow-cooked with peppers, peanut butter, and a little tomato—the chicken gets a peanut-crusted topping with a flavorful tomato and sweet potato base for a balanced, all-in-one meal.

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  • Recipe

    Hoppin' John

    In the South, eating Hoppin’ John—rice and black-eyed peas with pork—is supposed to bring luck (although no one’s quite sure why). Lucky or not, the hearty meal-in-a-bowl is the perfect way to start a new year. This dish is traditionally served with collard greens and cornbread.

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  • Recipe

    Honey-Tabasco Pork Belly with Black-Eyed Peas and Collard Greens

    A brown sugar rub and a spicy-sweet glaze give this roasted belly a deliciously caramelized flavor. It’s served over bacony slow-simmered beans and tangy braised collards for a truly delicious Southern-style dinner.

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  • Recipe

    Classic Baked Macaroni & Cheese

    This is great on its own, but if you like to gild the lily, try one of the add-ins like bacon, ham, or chiles.

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  • African peanut soup
    Recipe

    Spicy West African Peanut Soup

    This hearty vegetarian soup boasts a rich, creamy broth highlighted by floral ginger, earthy peanuts, and spicy chiles.

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  • Recipe

    Okra Cornmeal Cakes

    Serve these delicious okra cakes in bite-size bits for a cocktail nibble or larger cakes for a side dish. In the middle of summer, try adding fresh corn cut off the cob as well. The larger cakes are also brilliant layered with a soft, creamy cheese, such as fresh goat cheese or ricotta and thickly sliced tomato to make a Napoleon.

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  • Recipe

    Pan-Roasted Okra, Corn, and Tomatoes

    Charring okra and corn in a cast-iron skillet brings high-summer cookout spirit to the classic Lowcountry vegetable trinity. The resulting caramelized, sweet vegetable flavor is the perfect complement to the acidity of fresh tomatoes that have been gently stewed with some onion, garlic, and bacon. You can turn this into a vegetarian dish in a snap by substituting a healthy pinch of smoked sweet paprika for the bacon, adding it to the pan along with the onion and garlic. Since you’ll lose the fat rendered by the bacon, you should add up to a tablespoon more vegetable oil to make sure the onions and garlic don’t brown.

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  • Recipe

    Sweet Potato Pound Cake

    This handsome cake tastes great freshly made, but the ginger flavor comes through even more strongly on the second day. Bonus: any leftover cake is delicious toasted for breakfast.

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  • Recipe

    Buttery Black-Eyed Pea Stew with Fried Corn Cakes

    A creamy, vegetable-rich stew with a crunchy corn cake—what could be a better match? We call these sorts of dishes complicated simplicity. They're also the essence of what we believe dinner-party main-course fare should be, the flavors thickly layered but softened a bit and very smooth. The cakes are pretty easy to prepare--and the black-eyed peas, garlic, and other ingredients in the stew just need time over the heat to meld properly. Consider this one our take on new Southern cuisine. It feels as if you spent all day preparing it. You didn't. You needn't tell.

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  • Recipe

    Jamaican Jerk Pork

    This juicy, flavorful pork takes time—a few hours to brine, overnight to marinate, and 7 or 8 hours to smoke. It’s mostly hands off, and well worth it. In Jamaica, this is street food that’s eaten with rice and peas, grilled corn, or fried cornbread called festival.

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  • Recipe

    Ham Bone Collards

    A ham bone is the perfect flavoring for a big pot of collards, known in the South as a “mess of greens.” If you don’t have a ham bone, a smoked ham hock can stand in.

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  • Recipe

    Sweet Potato Pie

    Because of its similar texture, sweet potato is a natural alternative to pumpkin in this spin on the traditional holiday pie.

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  • Recipe

    Jamaican Rice & Peas

    This is really a rice and beans dish, but in Jamaica, beans are called peas. It's traditionally served alongside Jerk Chicken or Jerk Pork.

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  • Recipe

    Savory Corn Spoonbread

    Here's a favorite holiday side, streamlined to be simple enough even for a weeknight. Serve with baked ham, roast chicken, or seared shrimp.

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  • angel biscuits
    Recipe

    Angel Biscuits

    A cross between traditional short-dough biscuits and yeast-dough dinner rolls, Carla Hall's angel biscuits give you the best of both worlds. The tender biscuits have that irresistible yeasty aroma and tang and can be split and pulled apart into thin layers. They’re perfect for mini sandwiches and they keep well, too.

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