Or as they are called in the South, "Hoppin' John"
New Years day is coming and I want help bring you all good luck with my view on how to make a great pot of wonderful cooked Southern black-eyed peas. Of course it is never cooked right unless it is served with cornbread and cabbage or greens. Cabbage is good luck for you to bring in wealth in the coming year if eaten on New Years Day. When you serve this, you have a dish good enough to serve to anyone who drops by on New Year's Day and a lot of good luck and good wishes leftover. The name has its roots in American folklore, and one theory is that a hospitable host would invite their guest to stay for supper by saying, "Hop in, John." But who knows the real story.
Surprising how many people don't know how to cook black-eyed peas. Maybe it is the quaint name or the fuzzy origins of this dish. It was a staple dish of the African slaves on the plantations and before that, it was found throughout the Caribbean. I love to add the Cajun touch to many of my dishes. So please follow this closely for real good luck.
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon paprika
2½ teaspoon s black pepper
11/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon dried sweet basil leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
5 slices bacon, cut into small dice
3 cups chopped onions, in all
2 cups copped green bell peppers, in all
11/2 cups chopped celery, in all
3 bay leaves
1 pond dried black-eyed peas rinsed
And picked over
11 cups of chicken stock
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1 pound smoked sausage (the best you
can find), cut into ½ inch-thick slices
2 cups uncooked converted rice.
Combine the seasoning into ingredients thoroughly in a small bowl. Makes ¼ cup plus 2 teaspoons.
Place the bacon in a heavy ovenproof 5-quart pot over high heat and cook until the bacon starts to brown, about 6 minutes. Stir in 2 cups of the onions, 1 cup of the bell peppers, 1 cup of the celery, 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon of the seasoning mix, the bay leaves, and half of the black-eyed peas. Cover and cook, uncovering the pot once or twice to stir, about 10 minutes. Stir in 2 cups of the chicken stock and the garlic and scrape up any crusts that's formed on the bottom of the pot. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Add 1 cup more stock and scrape the bottom of the pot clean. Add the sausage, 6 cups more stock, the remaining 1 cup onions, 1 cup bell peppers, and ½ cup celery, the remaining black-eyed peas, and the remaining seasoning mix. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered until the peas are tender and creamy, about 11/2 hours.
Preheat the over to350 degrees F. Stir the rice and remaining 2 cups stock into the black-eyed peas, turn up the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and bake 15 minutes. To go ahead of the class serve alongside roast chicken and take the time to follow directions. Cut corners and you will be staying after class.
The beans are not pre soaked because if you these directions the dish will come out with the perfect texture. The mixture of seasoning and herbs saves the dish from its traditional blandness and bring your cooking to be the best of the neighborhood.
Makes 16 servings.
Have a Happy