Hoppin’ John is a traditionally southern dish that’s often made to celebrate the New Year. It’s also delicious. The ingredients are:
- Black-eyed peas (1 pound)
- Rice (3 cups)
- Collard greens or kale (1-2 bunches)
- Bacon (half pound or so)
- Onions (3 large, diced)
- Garlic (1 head or so, minced)
- Salt (to taste)
- Pepper (to taste)
- Red pepper flakes (to taste)
The black-eyed peas require special attention. If you don’t soften them up enough, they’ll be somewhat crunchy, and the whole dish will be less pleasant.
So you may want to start by soaking them for an hour, and then rinsing them. But the key thing is to cook them well. Place them in a pot, cover them with water, and boil. Boil for 10-15 minutes at least, and then let them stand in the hot water for another hour, before straining them out and rinsing them in cold water.
You should also make 3 cups of rice; I use a rice cooker.
Cut the bacon into smallish pieces, and cook until crispy, then remove from the pan.
Leave the bacon grease in the pan. It’s the grease that lend its flavor the rest of the dish.
First, fry up the onions until soft. Then add the minced garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook for another minute or two.
Then shred up the greens and add them to the pot. They’ll cook down and become tender in the grease.
This is then the time to strain, rinse, and add the beans to the pot, as well as the rice.
Mix it all together, and season to taste with the salt and pepper, and you’re done!