Alex's Recipes

"Try These"


Hoppin' John's Black-eye Peas


(Contributed by Dan McMenamin)

The story (as I heard it): After the "war of rebellion" (the Civil War, to y'all Northerners!), most folk had very little to eat. Come one New Year's day, all one family had was some black-eyed peas. Black-eyes were considered "pig food" to most Southerners, but, after Sherman's march, there wasn't very much else to eat.

So, they cooked these up.

A neighbor showed up, and they offered him some of their meager repast. "Hop in and eat, John!", they offered. So was born a traditional Southern dish, now called "Hoppin' John".



1 cup dry black-eye peas
2 medium onions
1/2 lb bacon or salt pork
1 cup white rice
2 dried chile peppers (whole)


Rinse and pick through peas (if you're rich enough). Place in a pot with chile peppers -- don't break them up or it may end up too hot for some. Add enough water to cover to about 1/2 inch. Bring to a boil.

Remove from heat and set aside in the pot. Saute onions in lots o' butter (I have used diet margarine at times) until transparent. Add to pea pot.

Chop bacon (if using salt pork, you may reduce quantity a bit). I have used up to a pound of good bacon or salt pork. Add rice, and two (2) more cups water.

You'll have to judge this for yourself, depending on the state of the peas: simmer over low heat, covered, for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Add water as needed to keep the "mess" from sticking and burning.

The result should not be soupy, but, if it is, just cook uncovered for a few minutes more.

Serve in bowls. Spice with Tabasco and soy sauce. For a truly tradition New Year's Day feast, serve with mixed greens. Enjoy!






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