Can you believe today is the last day of 2015? I can't! 2015 has had its ups and downs for us and I'll be honest, I feel like it was a longer year then most. However, we had some really great times in 2015 including going to Charleston, SC in January, heading to the Food and Wine Conference in Florida in July, and going to Certified Angus Beef in Wooster, Ohio in November. My husband and I have tried several new and delicious restaurants, gone on a few fun weekend trips, and have had a pretty good year over all.
Now that 2015 is coming to an end, I'm wishing my family and yours a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2016. To celebrate the new year I'm sharing a recipe for Hoppin' John which is a traditional southern dish for good luck in the new year.
I've heard about Hoppin' John several times in the past few years when New Year's comes around but I never really new what it was. It turns out it's a combination of black eyed peas, some type of ham or bacon, and vegetables all served over top of rice. I've never had it before but it sounded pretty good.
In the southern United States eating Hoppin' John on New Year's Day is supposed to bring good luck in the new year. Black eyed peas are symbolic of coins and any green vegetable added to the dish is supposed to add to the wealth since it's the color of money in America.
Hoppin' John is easy to make in a large stock pot or Dutch oven. The bacon is fried up first then the vegetables are soften by sauteing them in the bacon fat. Then the beans are added along with water or vegetable broth and simmered until they are soft. Everything is piled on top of rice and served with green onions on top. The dish is smokey and delicious. The taste of bacon really comes through and the black eyed peas absorb all the flavor from the bacon and the vegetables. This really is a great dish for the new year!
Even more exciting is that I get to show people in the 4 state area how to make this dish on live TV. Today I'll be on WHAG (NBC 25) at noon demonstrating how to make Hoppin' Johns and a delicious pulled pork dish. I can't wait to show off my cooking skills with people in my area! Be sure to watch and leave me a comment if you see me!
- 8 slices bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 c. dried black eyed peas
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon-1 Tablespoon Cajun seasoning (depending on how spicy you like your food)
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 4 c. vegetable broth (or water if you prefer)
- 1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained
- 4 c. rice, cooked
- green onions, chopped
- Place the bacon in a stock pot or Dutch oven and cook over medium high heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until the bacon is brown and crisp. Remove one spoonful of bacon to a paper towel lined plate to use as a topping. Leave the remaining bacon and bacon grease in the pot.
- Add in the peppers and onions and cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Add in the black eyed peas, thyme, Cajun seasoning, salt, and vegetable broth.
- Bring the beans to a boil then reduce heat to simmer. Cover the beans and cook for 30 minutes.
- Add in the drained tomatoes and recover the pot, cooking for 15-30 or until the beans are soft but not mushy.
- Place ¾ cup of rice in each bowl and spoon the Hoppin' John over top of it.
- Sprinkle with green onions and serve.
Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes