I was originally drawn to Hoppin’ John by the name, I'll admit it. Folks in the South traditionally eat Hoppin’ John on New Year’s to bring prosperity and good fortune. Traditional recipes for Hoppin' John involve time-consuming things like soaking the peas overnight and procuring ham hocks and what have you, and I'm not one to wait overnight for dinner. I created my own version of the dish to maximize deliciousness and get dinner on the table tonight.
As to the name, a bunch of people have different theories about the name that seem highly farfetched, so I’ve decided just to go with it and not wonder too much. Confusingly there’s talk of making the leftovers into pancakes and calling it called Skippin’ Jenny or some such nonsense but I can’t even get into that.
This is good with a side of wilted kale or collards, and should be served with Frank’s Red Hot sauce on the side for those who like the extra heat. —offthemeathook