Hoppin’ John is a traditional Low Country Southern food, reputed to bring good luck and prosperity in the new year when eaten on New Year’s Day. The recipe for Hoppin’ John was mentioned as early as 1847, in the publication of The Carolina Housewife by Sarah Rutledge.
The dish may have evolved from rice and bean mixtures on which enslaved West Africans subsisted on their passages to America. It has been further traced to a Senegalese dish thiebou niebe.
The basic ingredients for the recipe are black-eyed peas, chopped onion, sliced bacon, salt, and rice.
This simple and delicious dish can be paired with your favorite greens (collards, cabbage, kale) and cornbread to make the perfect New Year’s Day meal. Here’s my recipe:
1 pound bag of dry black-eyed peas
1 chopped yellow onion
Salt to taste
2-4 strips of bacon cut up, or ham hock
4 cups long-grain rice, prepared
- Cover peas in water and soak over night or for several hours. Drain water and rinse peas.
- Place peas in a 2-4 qt. pot and cover with water. Stir in chopped onion and bacon or ham hock. Bring to a simmer.
- Cook 30 minutes or until the peas are soft but not mushy.
- Ladle the peas over rice and garnish with green onions. Serve with Texas Pete for those who like a little heat.
My Hoppin’ John is on the stove and ready for tonight’s meal. I’ll make a pan of Jiffy Cornbread and cook some cabbage to serve with it.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!