Beans, New Year's Day

Hoppin’ John (Black-eyed Peas with Rice, Greens & Cornbread)

January 1, 2019
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We could all use a little good luck to kick off the new year–platefuls of it, in fact. Good thing eating “lucky” on New Year’s Day is a worldwide tradition.  Because so many people link prosperity with luck, if it looks like money—coin-shaped legumes and breads, green greens, silvery fish—you can bet somebody’s eating it on New Year’s Day.  In America’s Southern states, black-eyed peas are the lucky-food favorite. Cooked up with pork (or smoked turkey necks) and served over rice with greens, the peas become Hoppin’ John, down-home delicious, and lucky good.

I think Hoppin’ John tastes best if the legumes are well-seasoned, so my recipe has them cooked with chicken or turkey broth and a smoked ham hock.  Plenty of side-meat, garlic, and onion in the pot also round-out the earthiness of the peas. Add vinegary hot sauce, the pungency of side-dish greens, and perfect cornbread and you’ve got the full meal. A few cooking notes: To ensure fluffy rice, I cook it separately from the peas, in a rice cooker. For the greens: Kale, spinach or mustard greens are more accessible (less strongly flavored) than collards.

1 Comment

  • Reply Cornbread (Very Best! With Dried Sweet Corn) – Lost Recipes Found January 1, 2018 at 8:57 pm

    […] To my tastebuds, dried sweet corn’s pleasant, toasty flavor works best baked in cornbread. Instead of soaking the corn for a long time, I douse it with boiling water— just long enough to soften it a bit, not long enough to cause the corn to lose it’s shape or pleasant, chewy texture. If you can’t find or obtain the dried sweet corn, this recipe can also be made with frozen/thawed sweet corn. Just be sure to drain it well after thawing. This cornbread goes REALLY well with our Hoppin’ John! […]

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