Hoppin’ John for New Year’s Eve. December 31, 2011Posted by ourfriendben in recipes.
Tags: black-eyed peas, Hoppin' John, New Year's recipes, New Year's traditions, recipes for Hoppin' John, recipes with black-eyed peas, vegetarian Hoppin' John
Silence Dogood here. Did you grow up with the New Year’s tradition that eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Eve would bring good luck in the coming year? If so (or even if not), you might appreciate a few variations on that classic black-eyed pea recipe, Hoppin’ John, to add to your New Year’s repertoire. Choose your favorite or try ‘em all!
The first is a down-and-dirty basic Hoppin’ John from that priceless cookbook, White Trash Cooking by Ernest Matthew Mickler:
1 cup raw cowpeas [aka black-eyed peas—Silence]
4 cups water
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup raw rice [aka uncooked rice—Silence]
4 slices bacon fried with 1 medium onion, chopped
Boil peas in salted water until tender. Add peas and 1 cup of the pea liquid to rice, bacon (with grease) and onion. Put in rice steamer or double-boiler and cook for 1 hour or until rice is thoroughly done. [Note: 1 cup of rice in my rice cooker only takes about 1/2 hour to cook.—Silence] Black-eyed peas or canned peas will work if they’re already cooked.
Here’s a spicier version from Miss Daisy Celebrates Tennessee by Daisy King. (Miss Daisy’s Tea Room in Franklin, Tennessee was one of my favorite restaurants when I lived down there.)
Hot and Spicy Black-Eyed Peas
3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 17-ounce can black-eyed peas
1 16-ounce can whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped [Yikes—hard to chop undrained tomatoes! I think I’d buy a can of diced tomatoes if I were making this.—Silence]
about 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Assemble all ingredients and utensils. Cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon and saute onion and bell pepper; drain. Crumble bacon and reserve for later. In a saucepan, mix remaining ingredients and heat to boiling, then simmer for 20 minutes. Pour mixture into serving dish; sprinkle with bacon and parsley. Yield: 8 servings.
The third variation is from The El Paso Chile Company’s Texas Border Cookbook and is called Hoppin’ Juan (priceless!). Mind you, I’d make a few changes. I’d cut way back on the chiles—probably using just one the first time I made it, then upping the ante if I thought it could use more heat—and add a big diced sweet onion along with the green onions and garlic. If I didn’t feel like I had time to char, steam, peel, stem, and seed the chile(s), I might come up with a jarred version, or simply substitute some hot sauce (like my beloved Pickapeppa). But this recipe certainly sounds promising! Note that it’s vegetarian- and vegan-friendly.
6 long green chiles
1 1/2 cups black-eyed peas, picked over and rinsed
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
3 green onions, trimmed and sliced (about 1/2 cup)
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 cup cooked white rice
In the open flame of a gas burner or under a preheated broiler, roast the long green chiles, turning them, until they are lightly but evenly charred. Steam the chiles in a paper bag, or in a bowl covered with a plate, until cool. Rub away the burned peel. Stem and seed the chiles and coarsely chop them.
In a medium saucepan, cover the black-eyed peas with cold water. Set over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cook 10 minutes, stir in the salt, and cook another 10 to 12 minutes, or until just tender. Drain. (The peas can be cooked up to 1 day ahead. Refrigerate, covered.)
In a large skillet over low heat, warm the olive oil. Add the green onions, garlic, and cumin and cook, covered, stirring once or twice, for 4 minutes. Stir in the chiles and cook 2 minutes. Stir in the black-eyed peas and the rice and cook, covered, stirring once or twice, until heated through. Adjust seasonings and serve. Serves 6 to 8.
The authors point out that this also makes an easy salad if you stir in 2 or 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, cool to room temperature, and sprinkle with minced fresh cilantro just before serving.
Okay, your turn! What’s your favorite recipe for black-eyed peas? Do you eat them for luck on New Year’s Eve? Let us hear from you!
‘Til next time,