Every New Year’s Eve/Day I’ve gotta make my Hoppin John, black-eyed peas over aromatic steamed rice with some stewed collard greens. I make enough of it to last for a couple of nights and even store some in the freezer for a rainy day.
Here’s my simple recipe for wealth and prosperity in 2017. Give it a go…
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
.5 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
cayenne, to taste (optional)
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 smoked meat (ham hock or turkey wing)
1 pound dried black-eyed peas, picked over
1 quart low sodium stock (chicken or vegetable), plus more as needed
2-3 stems of fresh thyme OR 1 teaspoon dry thyme leaves
1 large bay leaf
3 cups cooked rice (white or brown)
3 tablespoons finely chopped scallion
Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, salt, pepper and cayenne and sauté for 4 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for another minute. Add smoked meat, black-eyed peas, stock, bay leaf and thyme. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 40 minutes, or until the peas are creamy and tender, stir occasionally. If the liquid evaporates, add more water or stock.
If using, remove meat, cut off the bone and add meat back to the pot. Taste and readjust seasonings. Serve over rice and garnish with green onions.
…and for the greens I like tap into my Louisiana roots using the trinity (onions, celery and bell pepper) as my vegetable base, sometimes using a smoked meat product for flavor. You don’t have to make a mess of greens because they are mildly cumbersome to stem, wash and cut but the payoff is worth it.
Depending on how much greens you prepare determine the amount of trinity to use, my ratio is 2:1:1, onion to pepper to celery. Sauté the trinity in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, seasoning with salt and pepper (crushed red pepper too) in an appropriately sized lidded pot until onions are translucent. Add chopped garlic, at least two cloves, and sauté for one minute more.
Add at least one half cup of chicken (or vegetable) stock and at least one tablespoon of vinegar and bring to a simmer. Add prepared greens to the pot in batches, if necessary, covering until the greens cook down providing more space for the next batch, mixing intermittently to coat with braising liquid and aromatics.
Let the greens rock for at least 30 minutes or until the color changes to a deep army green. Your favorite hot sauce and let the fireworks go! Best of luck in 2017 to you and yours!
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