If you haven’t cooked up some black-eyed peas to ring in the New Year and set the tone for good luck and prosperity, I encourage you to try my version of Hoppin John.
Hoppin John has its roots in the southern United States, traditionally made with peas, rice and sausage or bacon. The peas represent coins or pennies and the addition of greens is the color of American currency.
It’s fun food ritual to add to you holiday recipe collection. As always, my version changes things up, is super easy to put together, and you can choose to include animal protein, go vegetarian or vegan.
Plynn’s Version of Hoppin John
1 T oil
1 large onion, sliced and loosely chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 package (6 to 8 oz.) of shitake mushrooms, tough stems removed, sliced
1 package (6 to 8 oz.) of button, cremini or baby bella mushrooms, sliced **
2 15 oz. cans chicken, mushroom or vegetable broth
1 15 oz. can chopped tomatoes
6 (or more) dashes of Tabasco sauce
Salt and pepper (check at the end of cooking and add more to taste)
2 15 oz. cans black-eyed peas, drained
2 cups cooked pork or chicken; or 1 lb. cooked sausage, sliced or ground **
1 small bunch kale (or other greens), thinly sliced
Heat oil in a Dutch oven; add onion, garlic and mushrooms. Sauté until onions are soft.
Add broth, tomatoes, Tabasco sauce, salt and pepper; bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes to reduce liquid.
Add black-eyed peas and meat; bring to simmer again and cook 10 minutes.
Stir in kale, cover and cook on low until greens are nicely wilted.
Serve alone, with crusty bread or cornbread on the side, or spoon over cooked rice, mashed potatoes or polenta. (Personally, I love this over mashed potatoes.)
** If you choose to do the vegetarian version, replace meat with another package of slice mushrooms. The greater the variety of mushrooms in this dish, the tastier it is!
Happy New Year!