Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Betty Crocker Project : Hoppin' John

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Around here is just wouldn't be New Years without some Black Eyed Peas.

It's kinda hard to say where the tradition started but everyone knows that eating these little cuties on New Years Day is thought to bring good luck and prosperity. The Talmud talks about eating bowls of black eyed peas on Rosh Hashana but in case you aren't friends with any Jews - that's in the fall. During the Civil War, these sweeties were cooked up with ham bones and collard greens, given a heavy dose of hot sauce and served with cornbread. Legend has it when Sherman marched through the South leaving a trail of ruined farms and burnt cities, he left these humble little peas alone thinking they weren't worth the trouble. Survivors left behind came to think of these legumes as being "lucky" - either because they survived the burning or because they helped folks survive the aftermath - maybe both. Some folks in the South take it so far they make sure to eat 365 peas on New Years so they never have a bad day.

This tradition is probably why Hoppin John has become of one of the most popular adapted West African/Soul Food dishes served in the South. I couldn't really figure out a good explanation for where the name came from but interesting Nerd Fact : There is a recipe for Hopping John in The Carolina Housewife by Sarah Rutledge, which was published in 1847. I love food history.

Our Hoppin Johns skipped the ham bones - but still has a lot of flavor. We just think that makes it luckier - for those sweet little pigs that is.

Hoppin Johns 
  • 1 Cup Long Grain Brown Rice (cooked) 
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Olive Oil 
  • Dash of Liquid Smoke
  • 1/2 Green Bell Pepper (diced) 
  • 1/4 Red Onion (diced) 
  • 1 Cup Black Eyed Peas (rinsed and soaked) or 1 Can Black Eyed Peas (drained and rinsed) 
  • 2 Tablespoon Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Braggs
  • 3/4 Cup Greens (Collard or Mustard or you can always use fresh Spinach)
  • Bac-Os and or Hot Sauce to dump over the top if that's how you roll

In your trusted cast iron skillet, heat Olive Oil and Dash of Liquid Smoke at a medium heat. Once it's hot, toss in the Green Pepper, Red Onion and Black Eyed Peas and mix. Stir in Creole Seasoning, Onion Powder and Greens. Once the Red Onion and Green Pepper are tender, mix in the Rice and Braggs. Let heat for around 5 minutes.

When you serve toss some Bac-Os on top - maybe some Hot Sauce and enjoy a New Years Tradition that you won't regret the next day.


  1. I usually do this for my New Year's black-eyed peas (, but this recipe looks great.

  2. This looks super yummy - will definitely try this!

  3. This looks like the perfect way to start the new year. Just wondering, though, is it 1 cup of dried black eyed peas AND 1 can of black eyed peas or is it 1 cup of dried black eyed peas OR 1 can of black eyed peas? Thanks!

  4. It's OR - fixed it. Sorry that was unclear.

  5. I made it tonight, used a whole bundle of collards, twice the rice and a little extra beans. It was super yummy, even my meat-eater houseguest liked it and asked for facon on top. It was too spicy for the kids, but 3 adults ate it all, even with the extra ingredients.

  6. Made this tonight for dinner to bring in the new year. This dish was way too salty for our taste. I would suggest one tablespoon creole seasoning (or maybe even a little less than that). I can't wait to try it again.

  7. Made this last night and it was great! Doubled the recipe with no problem. Just wondering; it didn't call for any liquid, which I thought would make it a bit dry. I added a can of vegetable broth and it was perfect! The seasonings blended in well, and it's nice and moist.

  8. StacieInNoVA <^@^>March 30, 2011 at 4:36 PM

    I've been lurking around this blog for about a month now...My husband (the massive meat eater that he is) was camping last week in FL and the cook at the camp made hoppin' john's out of a can... ironically, the same day, i saw this recipe... so, i made it tonight and he said it was better than the can and it is now his favorite bean/rice dish!!!! I'm going to make him veg*n one of these days... i'm wearing him down.... :) cant wait to try more of your recipes... love your blog:)