Southern Hoppin' John
There is a tradition I grew up with that having black eyed peas and greens on New Year's Day would bring you good luck in the year to come. Hoppin' Johns is a recipe that includes these components with the added ham hock component for supreme flavor. I grew up eating black eyed peas (field peas). They have such a unique flavor and taste. I urge you to try them regardless of this recipe if you haven't before. For this recipe, I didn't cook the beans from dry because that takes quite a bit of time. You can find black eyed peas in cans, in the frozen veggie aisle of most grocery stores, and sometimes even in the fridge section of grocery stores around this time of year. You may not be superstitious and believe food will bring you good luck...but at least you can rest assured that you're getting some great vitamins with the greens and peas!
Southern Hoppin' John
- 1 ham hock or 1/2 pound bacon
- 2 1/2-3 C cooked black eyed peas
- 3 ribs celery, chopped small
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 jalapeño, diced small (omit if you don't like spice)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp cajun seasoning (I liked 'Slap ya Mama')
- 3 tsp fresh thyme or 2 tsp dried
- green onions for topping
- 2 C rice, I used brown but you can use any long-grain
- 2 Tbsp butter for cooking rice
- Cook your rice according to instructions and add 1 tsp salt and 2 Tbsp butter to cook
- Heat oil in large pan and add ham hock, or diced bacon. Add chopped onion (leaving 1/4 c onion aside), celery, and jalepeno. Cook until starting to soften and brown. Add minced garlic.
- Shred collards or whatever greens you are using roughly with hands. Put in a covered skillet with a bit of oil and part of the diced yellow onion. Cook on medium until greens begin to reduce.
- Add seasonings and a bit of water. Cook a bit and shred ham hock and discard bone. Simmer on very low heat.
- Serve rice, topped with hoppin' John bean/ham mixture and greens on the side. Top with diced green onions
- You don't have to cook the beans from dry. I urge you to simplify the recipe with frozen or even canned black eyed peas.
- Switch up your greens. You can go collards, kale, turnip greens, mustard greens, Swiss chard, rainbow chard, spinach...or all of the above!