Sunday, December 30, 2007

Hoppin' John

Stop by our house tomorrow, and you’ll find me cooking a mess of “Hoppin’ John.”

“Hoppin’ John” is an essential part of southern lore, especially honored in the Low Country, South Carolina’s coastal counties. If you stop in an area restaurant around New Year’s Day, no matter what you order, they’ll slip you a small dish of beans and rice—gratis. Eating Hoppin’ John on New Year’s Day is said to give a person good luck all year long.

The dish is believed to be first made by the slaves as a form of pilau. Black eyed peas, rice and ham hocks or bacon are traditional ingredients. The New York Times called the meal “a nutritional marvel, the culinary touchstone of the African diaspora and a hangover remedy without equal.” And the article goes on to say“the first known appearance of ‘hoppin' John’ in print was in 1838, in Caroline Gilman's novel ‘Recollections of a Southern Matron.’"

My version is lowfat, and only 6 Weight Watchers’ points. If you swap out bacon for Bacos, of course that number will change.

Hoppin’ John

1/3 C chopped celery
1 tsp. olive oil
1/3 C chopped onion
1 minced garlic clove
1 bay leaf
1 T Bacos (or bacon)
1 C chicken broth
½ can (1/2 C) black-eyed peas (cooked, from a can)
¼ C chopped lean ham (Okay, if you want to use a ham hock, who am I to stop you?)
1 C brown rice, cooked

Saute first 4 ingredients. Add to other ingredients, mix well. Put in 1 quart casserole dish and bake, covered, in 350 º oven for one hour.
Do you have a New Year's special recipe? Care to share?


JD Rhoades said...

Oooh! I loves me some Hoppin John. And that recipe looks very tasty.

Anonymous said...

I'll be trying this recipe as soon as I get a can of black beans! Thanks so much. I'll sign CC for camille's cousin!

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Of course, the "full fat" version is much more flavorful, but...either way, it's very healthful. (I still want to say "healthy.")

ellen said...

My dish for year-long prosperity is roast goose, eaten on Michaelmas (Sept. 29). There's an old English saying to the effect that who eats goose on the feast of Saint Michael and All Angels will not lack for money during the coming year.

(But then, that's pretty much the same as saying those who have a good harvest shall not lack during the coming year.)

Been doing it for a quarter century now, and it seems to work. We invite the friends.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

I think I recall Monica mentioning that--it sounds glorious!

Anonymous said...

Joanna, recipe was delicious. I love it and will now stock my winter shelves with black eyed peas! A great recipe for the northeast. Brrr CC

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Oh, glad you enjoyed it. I wound up adding a cup of chicken broth and dumping the whole thing in the crockpot so it was ready when we were. That worked pretty well. I also like a dash of Tabasco sauce in my serving.

Disney Mummy said...

Oh that looks very yummy. I've never had or made it, but I am definitely going to give it a try. Thanks for sharing!

Disney Mummy said...

Oh that looks very yummy. I've never had or made it, but I am definitely going to give it a try. Thanks for sharing!