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
smoky bacon, chopped in small pieces
small onion, chopped finely
small red pepper, chopped into 1/4 inch squares
cloves garlic, chopped finely
can black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste
In This Recipe
Put bacon in medium-sized saucepan, and cook until crispy over medium heat. Add onion, pepper, and garlic and cook 3-5 minutes, until vegetables are soft but still vibrant.
Add rice, black-eyed peas, dry mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring to combine. Taste and add salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste.
Stir and cook another 10 minutes. Taste, adjust seasoning, and serve immediately.