Friday, January 2, 2015

The Frugal Kitchen: Hoppin' John

Hoppin' John is a traditional southern dish made with black eyed peas.  I made a big batch of it yesterday since black eyed peas are supposed to be eaten on New Years Day to bring good luck.  I made two batches:  one vegetarian for my husband and one with meat.


1 medium sized (16oz) bag of dried black eyed peas
2 medium size onions, roughly diced
1 stalk of celery, roughly diced (optional)
1 green pepper, diced (optional)
4 garlic cloves, finely diced
1 large smoked hamhock, or 2 small
1 tsp. dried thyme
3 or 4 bay leaves
1/2 - 1 tsp. dried red pepper flakes
1 - 2 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. olive oil
5 - 6 cups water
2 cups white rice

Pick through peas (I have found stones), then cover with a generous amount of water in a bowl.  Cover and soak overnight.

Before soaking

After soaking
Drain and rinse peas well.  Add oil to a heavy weight pot, over medium heat.  Sauté onions, celery, green pepper and garlic until just becoming golden on the edges.

I left out the celery and green pepper
Add the smoked ham hock, peas and five or six cups of water.  Next put in your spices.  Don't put any salt or acid in with your dried peas (beans) until they are done cooking.  Salt or acid added at the beginning will keep your beans from getting soft enough to eat.

Smoked Ham Hock

Plenty of water

Bring to a brisk boil, then lower heat to low.  Cook, covered, for one and a half or two hours (or until beans are soft enough to eat). Remove ham hock, shred any meat and add back to pot.  Now, slowly add salt until the broth tastes salty enough for you.  Add rice and cook until rice is done.  You may need to add more water as the rice absorbs it.

I got so excited I started eating before I took the picture.
This recipe can be done in a crock pot, but I am not sure of the cooking times.  This will feed a large family and is good for leftovers.  Enjoy!

God bless,

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