Southerners don't start their New Year without a bowl of Hoppin' John, collards and a side of cornbread. This West African–influenced dish has long been a ritual of promised of prosperity. Whether it works or not, one thing is certain...it's absolutely delicious!
Yield: 6 servings
- 1 cup dried black-‐eyed peas, cowpeas or red peas
- 1 teaspoon cooking oil of choice
- 1⁄2 cup chopped Spanish onion
- 1/3 cup diced double smoked slab bacon
- 1 boneless ham hock, diced, (1⁄4 lb yield)
- 1 fresh chili pepper, slit down one side
- 1 Sprig of fresh thyme
- 6 cups water or stock
- 1 cup Long-‐Grain unconverted white rice
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Sort and wash the peas, picking out stones. Reserve.
- Heat a 4-‐quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the oil, then the bacon. Cook, stirring the bacon without browning. Add the onion and cooking until soft and translucent.
- Add the reserved cleaned peas to the pot, along with the ham hock, hot pepper, thyme and water. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for approximately 45 minutes until the beans are three quarters tender; and not mushy.
- Measure the liquid remaining in the pot. At this point you should have 2 cups of liquid in the pot, adjust as needed. Add the rice to the pot along with 1⁄2 teaspoon of salt and black pepper to taste. Return the pot to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook covered for 15-‐20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the carry-‐over cooking finish the hoppin’ john until the rice is tender. Serve hot or at room temperature.