Thursday, January 3, 2013

Hoppin' John for Good Luck in the New Year

Happy 2013!  Any good New Year's celebration calls for a yummy bowl of Hoppin' John.  For those of you not in "the know," Hoppin' John is a southern dish traditionally served on New Year's Day to bring a prosperous year filled with luck (the black-eyed peas are symbolic of pennies or coins).  Here's my recipe so you can get your good luck on for 2013...

Step 1:
1 lb of dried black eyed peas
1 ham hock
1 onion, halved
3 bay leaves
3 cloves of garlic
6 cups of water

Step 2:
5 tbl butter
1 onion, diced
3 ribs of celery, sliced
1 green pepper, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced with seeds 
3 cloves of garlic, diced 
1/2 tsp of fresh thyme
6 links of precooked Andouille sausage
1 cup of rice
2 1/2 cups of water

1. Combine all of the ingredients in Step 1 in a large stock pot.  Bring to a boil, cover and  simmer on low heat  for 2.5 - 3 hours until the peas are tender, but not mushy.  Stir occasionally.

2.  Once the peas are fully cooked, remove the ham hock, onions, garlic, and bay leaves.

3.  Drain the peas and reserve the liquid.

4.  Dice the onions, celery, jalapenos, garlic, and green pepper.  Melt the butter in the Dutch oven over medium-high heat and then add all the vegetables you just diced.  Cook until onion is translucent and tender (about 8-10 minutes). 

5.  Add fresh thyme (no stems, just leaves!) and saute for 1 minute.  Preheat oven to 375.

6.  Add 1 cup of uncooked rice and 2 1/2 cups of water.  Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes until the rice is fully cooked.

7.  While the rice is cooking, bake the precooked Andouille sausage in the oven for 10 minutes until heated through (I used the precooked because I am lazy, but you can use the fresh kind and start this step while the peas are cooking).

8.  Slice and dice your Andouille sausage.

9.  After the rice is cooked, add the black-eyed peas to the Dutch oven.  I like to add 1/3 at a time, stir and then add another 1/3, etc till all the peas are added.  Add any reserved cooking liquid if needed to loosen up the dish.  I had to add about 1/4 of a cup.

10.  Add the Andouille sausage to the Dutch oven.

11.  Hoppin' John is ready!  Spoon into a dish and garnish with hot sauce if desired (I always do)

Raise a fork to good luck in 2013!

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