Happy New Year, and I hope your celebration goes well and without incident. As tradition with other New Years, it’s normal to have certian items the first day of the year. Tradition is that the first thing you eat in the new year, should be one of the things to bring you luck. One of my favorite is Hoppin’ John (Black Eye Peas and white rice). Right after the stroke of midnight, you eat some Hoppin’ John. The person who is preparing the dish, puts a dime in the finish dish. Then they person who gets the dime in their portion will have good fortune for the new year.
Below is a recipe that will give you a good warm bowl of Hoppin’ John to bring in the new year. Enjoy, and let me know how it turns out for you.
2 cups dried black-eyed peas
Cold water1 pound lean slab bacon or 1 pound meaty ham hocks
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 cups water or chicken broth
2 cups uncooked long-grain white rice
Salt and black pepper to taste
Before preparing dried beans, sort through them thoroughly for tiny pebbles or other debris. Soak, rinse, and drain dried black-eyed peas. Place black-eyed peas in a large soup pot over medium-high heat and cover with cold water; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 1 to 2 hours. Drain and rinse beans.
Using the same large soup pot, over medium-high heat, add soaked black-eyed peas, bacon or ham hock, onion, and red pepper. Add water or chicken broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the peas are tender (do not boil as the beans will burst).
Remove bacon or ham hock and cut into bite-size pieces. Return meat to pot. Stir in rice, cover, and cook 20 to 25 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serves 6-8 people