Thursday, December 30, 2004

Hoppin' John (a New Year's Day traditional recipe)

It's always been considered good luck in our family to eat blackeyed peas on New Year's Day... and here's a recipe even you blackeyed-pea-haters might actually enjoy. Please please PLEASE promise me you won't buy a can of blackeyed peas and serve them up plain, okay? This is MUCH nicer and MUCH more edible.

Hoppin' John

3 cups dried blackeyed peas
3/4 lb. sliced bacon, diced
1 1/2 large onions, chopped
3 cups raw rice
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1/2 to 1 teaspoon black pepper
1-2 tablespoons dried red pepper, crushed

Bring peas and 4.5 quarts of water to a boil. Boil for two minutes, then turn off the heat. Cover the pan and allow to stand for one hour. In a large skillet, brown the bacon, then add the onion and cook until golden. Pour the bacon mixture into the peas. Cover and simmer until the peas are tender, approximately two to three hours. Stir in the rice and other seasonings, and cook (covered), without stirring, until the rice is tender (about 30 minutes). Remove cover. If the mixture seems too soupy, boil on high for a few minutes to reduce the liquid. Check seasonings and add more to taste if necessary.

It can be served like this, or to really kick it up a notch, stir in a cup of beef gravy before serving. YUM!!! This is especially nice served with marinated beef brisket.

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