Making Lucky Hoppin’ John

I have gotten into the New Year’s tradition of making Hoppin’ John on January 1st to start the new year out right. So today I made a big ole heaping pot of it. Hoppin’ John, made with black-eyed peas, is a traditionally Southern dish meant to bring good luck and prosperity in the coming year. It’s a bit of a process to make because it requires a lot of chopping, slicing, and dicing – but the result is sooooo delicious! Even my son, home from college and a somewhat picky eater, absolutely loved it. We both had it wolfed down in no time. I served it over quinoa instead of rice, which tasted really good. The quinoa’s somewhat nutty flavor lent itself nicely with the Hoppin’ John.

Hoppin' John - New Year'sI use Katie Lee’s Hoppin’ John family recipe. She’s a good Southern girl who knows her way around the kitchen, so this Northern girl took a few pointers from her. She doesn’t add bacon or ham, like some recipes call for. I find that it doesn’t need it – it lets the flavor of beans shine through.

Hoppin’ John

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 15-oz cans black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth or water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, minced
  • cooked rice (I used quinoa – Marilyn)
  • Shredded white cheddar
  • Hot sauce (optional)
  1. 1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium. Add onion, red bell pepper, and garlic. Saute until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. 2. Stir in black-eyed peas, broth, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low; cook 10 more minutes. Stir in green onions and parsley.
  3. 3. Serve on top of cooked rice and garnish with cheese. Add hot sauce, if desired.

I made sure we had enough leftovers for tomorrow, the day after New Year’s Day. It is then called Skippin’ Jenny and is eaten on January 2nd. Tradition holds that this demonstrates one’s frugality, which brings hope for an even better chance of prosperity in the New Year.

Happy 2014! ~Marilyn

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