Hoppin John Recipe-Confident in the Kitchen-Jean Miller

Hoppin John

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Welcome » Hoppin John

Hoppin John is a Southern tradition. The peas represent coins, and the greens represent dollars… and serving with cornbread symbolizes gold. Eating it on New Year’s Day is believed to ensure luck and prosperity for the whole new year. This year Mark and I officially became Southerners with our first batch of Hoppin John! We made it the night before to enjoy it first thing in the morning.

Hoppin John Recipe

  • Servings: 10
  • Calories per: 514
  • Active Time: 30 min
  • Total Time: 1 hr 15 min
  • Difficulty: Easy
WHAT YOU NEED WHAT TO DO WHY
  • 8 ounces bacon, cut into ½ inch squares
Soup: Preheat an empty 6-quart enameled cast iron Dutch oven over medium heat until water droplets flicked from fingertips dance across the base (3-5 minutes). Evenly distribute the bacon; render the fat, and continue cooking, occasionally tossing with a bamboo spatula, until crispy (10-15 minutes). With a slotted spoon, transfer to a small bowl; set aside. Leave 2 tablespoons of the fat in the pot; spoon out the rest and set aside. Enameled cast iron is nonreactive, and will not release undesirable flavors during deglazing. Preheating promotes the Maillard (my YARD) reaction (browning), which adds rich flavor. Bamboo is easy on cookware
  • 8 ounces (1 medium) yellow onion, chopped to 1 inch
  • 4 ounces (1 medium) red bell pepper, chopped to 1 inch
  • 3 ounces (2 ribs) celery, diced to 1/4 inch
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded, diced to 1/4 inch
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
Meanwhile, prepare onion, pepper, celery, and jalapeños; add to the bacon fat. Cook, tossing occasionally, until onions are translucent (4-5 minutes). Add garlic; toss just until fragrant (1-2 minutes). Garlic is prone to burning and requires careful monitoring.
  • 1 pound (2 1/2 cups) black-eyed peas, dried
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt, fine
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves, dry
  • 6 cups chicken or turkey stock
Add all to the Dutch oven, increase heat to high to bring to a boil. Cover and promptly reduce heat to hold at a simmer until peas are tender (~1 hour). Meanwhile… For beans to fully soften, they need a non-acidic cooking environment (separate from ingredients such as tomatoes or vinegar). Simmering (versus boiling) minimizes texture-damaging turbulence.
  • 6 cups tap water
  • 2 cups long-grained rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, fine
Rice: In a 3-quart tri-ply stockpot over high heat, bring water to a boil (5-6 minutes). Add rice and salt; cover (a glass lid works well for monitoring) and promptly reduce heat to hold at a simmer. Cook until rice is tender (13-15 minutes). Drain thoroughly through a mesh strainer with vigorous shakes; return to the pan. Extra water eliminates the need to rinse the rice before cooking because excess starch washes away during draining. Simmering minimizes texture-damaging turbulence. Adding salt after water is hot reduces metal pitting.
  • 1 tablespoon bacon fat
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 ounces onion, diced to 1/4 inch
  • 1 1/2 pounds collards, stems removed and thinly sliced to 1/8 inch, leaves chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, fine
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground
Collards: In a 12-inch tri-ply everyday pan over medium heat, circulate bacon fat. Add garlic, onion, and collard stems; cook until onions are translucent (3-4 minutes). Add collard leaves to the pan along with salt and pepper and 3 tablespoons of Hoppin’ John cooking liquid. Cover briefly until leaves turn bright green and collapse (2-3 minutes). Remove cover; toss until wilted but still structured (2-3 minutes). The cooking liquid expedites the wilting through steaming action captured under the cover.
  • 2 scallions, angle sliced to 1/4 inch
To serve, use tongs to arrange collards with a big spoon of rice beside, and cooked beans cascading over the rice. Sprinkle with scallion.  

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