Hoppin’ John

Growing up in the South, I frequently discovered marvelous one-pot dinners made with easy-to-find ingredients. For many families, both money and groceries are oftentimes in short supply, and out of necessity cooks learned to make due with what they had on hand. Dishes like gumbo, etouffee and dirty rice utilize simple items including rice, legumes, vegetables and bits of meat or fish. Many of these dishes remain favorites to this day. With Hoppin’ John, the earthy flavor of black-eyed peas combined with bits of salted pork and a dash of spice create a mouth-watering treat that satisfy the biggest appetites with minimal cost.

Hoppin' John

Pork and black-eyed peas come together to create Hoppin' John, a spicy Southern staple.

PREP: 10 minutes
COOK: 48 minutes
STAND: 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS
1-1/3 cups dried black-eyed peas, rinsed
4 slices bacon, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cups water
1 pound diced ham
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup instant rice, uncooked
3 scallions, chopped

  1. In a large Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat for about 8 minutes, or until crisp. Remove bacon with slotted spoon. Set aside.
  2. Add onion to drippings; cook 5 minutes or until tender.
  3. Stir in black-eyed peas, bacon, water, ham, cayenne and black pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 35 minutes.
  4. Return to boiling. Stir in rice and remove from heat. Let mixture stand, covered, for 10 minutes.
  5. Stir in scallions before serving.

TIP: Although this dish can be served alone, the meal can be rounded out with hot skillet cornbread and a mess ‘o greens.

YIELDS: 8 servings.

© 2011 Jadeworks Entertainment.