Monday, November 4, 2013

Hoppin John - Oh So Good

Good Monday friends.  Hope you survived the fall back.  Our daughters, who have young children, are suffering the time change with children getting up really early according to the new clock setting.  I must laugh because we have been there and certainly done that.  They just don't remember what it was like because they were the small children.  What goes they say.

Today, I am sharing a recipe for Hoppin John.  My son, John, taught me how to make this years ago and it is absolutely wonderful.  Hoppin John is a combination of rice and black eyed peas and other goodness like bacon and onions and bell pepper.

My research tells me they are not sure where the name comes from, but Hoppin John was mentioned in cookbooks as far back as 1847.  Chances are, this was a dish made by slaves since there are similar dishes eaten in Africa.

Hoppin John is often served on New Year's Day in the south as a symbol of good fortune for the coming year.  The black eyed peas stand for coins.  Sometimes a few coins are placed under the plate of guests.  Corn bread is served for the color of "gold" and some kind of greens - like turnip or collards - which stands for money, are also served. Supposedly, if you eat this you will have good fortune and prosperity throughout the year.

I don't want to wait until New Year's Day to eat this delicious dish.  It is easy to make and very nutritious.  I promised my friend Linda, who lives in Texas, that I would post this recipe today.  She LOVES black eyed peas and wants to make this recipe.  Here is what you need:

6-8 slices of bacon, cut crossways
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans black eyed peas, drained and rinsed*
2 cups rice
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste

In a deep pot, brown the bacon until crisp.  Drain most of the bacon fat off, leaving enough to brown the onions, bell pepper and garlic.  When the onions become translucent, add the garlic, bacon, drained black eyed peas, the rice, and chicken broth.   Cook until the rice is done and most of the liquid has been absorbed.   Stir several times so the rice doesn't stick.  Add salt and pepper if needed.  I didn't add any salt.

*I used Bush's black eyed peas with bacon and jalapeno to add a little kick.  They are not hot, just have a little more flavor.  Try it if you like a little something extra.

This can be a complete meal if you wish, or served as a side.  Delicious!  It also reheats well.

If you are looking for some new winter recipes, this one is a good one to try.  It is easy, nutritious, and delicious.  Remember to serve it on New Year's Day for extra good fortune in the coming new year.  We can all use more good fortune!

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember

“How people could actually get themselves all worked up about saving the grizzly bear of the Rockies, and sit calmly by while such a magnificent dish as South Carolina Hoppin' John faces extinction, was more than I could ever understand.”

Sheila Hibben (1888-1964)

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