Friday, January 1, 2010

Hoppin' John - HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Hopping John: -- though a lot say Hoppin' John:

The recipes for this southern dish vary from location to location, even from family to family. Black-eyed peas, meat, rice and favorite seasonings remain required ingredients. Last time I had to substitute smoked sausage since the ham bone I expected in our freezer wasn't there. It was good!

1 pound dried black-eyed peas (or fresh – our preference)
2 small smoked ham hocks or meaty ham bone (we’ve substituted smoked turkey sausage, too)
2 medium onions, divided
3 large cloves garlic, halved
1 bay leaf
1 cup long-grain white rice
1 can (10 to 14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes (flavors do make a difference
3 ribs celery, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste
2 teaspoons Cajun or Creole seasoning – your preference

Some include:
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
But Beloved Husband doesn’t care for them cooked. Others add hotter peppers or hot sauce. Again, not our preference


In a large stew pot, cook black-eyed peas, ham bone/hocks, and 6 cups water. Cut 1 of the onions and add along with garlic and bay leaf.

After bringing to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer gently until the beans are tender but do not overcook, 2 to 2 1/2 hours for dried beans. Remove the ham bone/hocks, discard after removing meat. Set meat aside to add later.

Drain the peas, discarding bay leaf, onion pieces, and garlic. Set peas aside to add later.

Add 2 1/2 cups of water to the pot and bring to a boil. Add the rice, cover, and simmer until the rice is almost tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. I’ve also cooked the rice with the diced tomatoes and water to better incorporate flavors.

Mince the remaining onion and add along with the peas, tomatoes, and their juices, red and green bell pepper, celery, and remaining seasonings. Cook until the rice is tender. Stir in the pre-cooked meat. Often I’ll all but caramelize the onion before adding. Again, a personal preference.

Serve with cornbread and a tossed green salad.


  1. I have a goal to substantially lower our grocery bill this year. Do you have a cheap but flavorful favorite? Something that you serve to company? Thanks!

  2. Hi Grammy, just taken a look at your recipe, there is a lot more in it than the one I have! Mine only has bacon, onion, beans and water! Oh and chillis!

    I might do some rice to add to it now. I don't have any of your other ingredients apart from a bay leaf so I'll add that. I'll see how I go and if we like them I will do it again with your ingredients list.

    I'll post about it later. Thanks.