Thursday, December 31, 2015

Hoppin' John (Black-Eyed Peas Recipe)

Black eye peas.

Hey guys, I hope you all are well. Can somebody tell me where in the world has time gone? This year has flown by. I'm not complaining because I'm still here and in relatively good health. Praise God! I don't believe in superstitions, but I do hold traditions to heart and having a bowl of hearty black eye peas on New Years Day is one. My family has done this since I was a little girl. Back then I hated black eye peas. I'd spit them in my napkin and through them away while mama wasn't looking. Lol. I have been playing with recipes for a few years now and I think I've finally found a keeper and wanted to share it with you guys.

Hoppin' John with baked bbq chicken thighs. 

This recipe comes from Elise over at Enjoy!

Hoppin’ John Recipe
Prep time: 10 minutesCook time: 50 minutesYield: Serves 4-6 as a side dish
Note that many things may affect the cooking times of the peas. They could take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to cook to tenderness, depending on their age, where they were grown, the water you are using.

1/3 pound bacon, or 1 ham hock plus 2 Tbsp oil
1 celery stalk, diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 small green pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 pound dried black-eyed peas, about 2 cups
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 heaping teaspoon Cajun seasoning
2 cups long-grain rice
Scallions or green onions for garnish

1 If you are using bacon, cut it into small pieces and cook it slowly in a medium pot over medium-low heat. If you are using a ham hock, heat the oil in the pot. Once the bacon is crispy (or the oil is hot), increase the heat to medium-high and add the celery, onion, and green pepper and sauté until they begin to brown, about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic, stir well and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

2 Add the black-eyed peas, bay leaf, thyme and Cajun seasoning and cover with 4 cups of water. If you are using the ham hock, add it to the pot and bring to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes to an hour, or longer if needed, until the peas are tender (not mushy).

3 While the black-eyed peas are cooking, cook the rice separately according to package instructions.

4 When the peas are tender, strain out the remaining cooking water (I did NOT strain my liquid). Remove and discard the bay leaf. Taste the peas for salt and add more if needed. If using a ham hock, remove it from the pot, pull off the meat, and return the meat to the pot.

Serve the dish either by placing a ladle-full of black-eyed peas over steamed rice, or by mixing the two together in a large bowl. Garnish with chopped green onions. Serve with collard greens, kale, beet or turnip greens.

Note: I used smoked turkey in place of ham hocks and bacon. I also used half chicken stock half water.

*Adjust the recipe where you see fit and finish it with your choice of meat (optional). 
Vegans omit smoked meat and use vegetable stock in place of water. It still taste amazing. I have prepared them both ways. 

Happy New Years!

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