Peeples is a mother of three children, working hard to find the best recipes to keep the kids happy.
What Is Hoppin' John?
Every year, I see post after post on social media discussing recipes for Hoppin' John, followed by the inevitable question, "What is Hoppin' John?"
Well, Hoppin' John is a traditional Southern—Southeastern to be more exact—New Year's dish, involving black-eyed peas and rice. Personally, I like to eat it year-round. It is filling, easy to make, and in true Southern fashion, greasy and bacony!
The recipe changes depending on who you ask. I was raised in Charleston, South Carolina, and while I'm very familiar with the homemade recipe, the recipe I am sharing here is the one to choose if you don't want to spend the entire day cooking. If you want to spend the night soaking peas, as well as an hour cooking rice, be my guest. My New Year's Day, however, is better spent playing with the kids and shooting fireworks!
While this is a great New Year's dish, it is also a great meal year-round.
- 1 (1-lb) pack bacon
- 1 can black-eyed peas, rinsed
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- 3 bags cook-in-bag rice
- Cook all of the bacon and place in the refrigerator to cool while cooking the rest of your ingredients. Reserve 2/3 of the bacon grease.
- Cook rice according to package instructions.
- While rice is cooking, dice onion, garlic, bell pepper, and mushrooms.
- Add leftover grease to a large pan.
- Add onion, garlic, bell pepper, and mushrooms to the pan and saute for 5 minutes, or until tender. During the last minute of sauteing, add rinsed black-eyed peas.
- Add cooked rice to the pan with the sauteed veggies and peas.
- Once bacon has cooled, crumble or cut into 1-inch pieces.
- Add bacon to the pan. Stir often over low heat for 5 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy.
Hoppin' John Is Ready to Eat!
Again, you can always cook your peas and rice the long home-cooked way, and the outcome may be ever so slightly better. On regular days when I cook this, I will often use regular rice. I have only home-cooked the peas once, and the outcome was so minimally improved that I decided not to go that route again.
This is a dish we cook at least once every couple of months. Tasty, filling, not all that healthy, but we could do worse! I hope you enjoy. If you aren't used to Southern greasy food, this may not be your thing, and that is ok! If you like Southern bacon-flavored dishes though, give it a try!
© 2019 Peeples