Monday, January 2, 2012

Hoppin' John

I cannot believe that this survived 25 years to see an anniversary issue put out after the flack it raised for its un-pc name and contents.  I only wish Mr. Mickler had survived as long to see it out as an e-book.  He would have been proud.
I have an original which was trashed by this white dude from plenty of use.
When I first got my copy I never dreamed that I would be reaching for it so many years later to draw from one of my favorite recipes in it for a cooking show.  But tomorrow never knows as the boogie guy from Liverpool once observed.
As we are just beginning the new year, I wanted to start my first show of the year talking about foods traditionally eaten on New Years Day and the first one that came to my mind was the southern favorite, Hoppin' John, a combination of black-eyed peas and rice which is supposed to bring good luck.  (If you want some monetary luck, serve a side of greens such as collards or mustard greens.  Even cabbage is acceptable.)
The recipe I use is pretty much based on one in the book called, "Charlyss's Black-Eyed Peas."  (One year I was so poor that I even put the fixings for these in a box and gave them as a gift at an Epiphany party I attended along with the recipe.)  Hope you don't wait until next New Years to try these.  Hey, you still have time to  serve them on Epiphany!!!

Hoppin' John

2 cups dried black-eyed peas, cooked and reserved
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
3 cups ham, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Cooked rice
Hot sauce (optional)

Heat oil in a pot and add onions. Saute a few minutes then add parsley stirring it in to combine.
Lower heat to medium low, cover and cook stirring every few minutes until onions are tender.
Stir in ham, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 15 minutes.
Add black-eyed peas, season, and cover cooking for another 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Correct for seasoning and serve over rice with hot sauce to pass.

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