Sunday, January 29, 2012

Hoppin' John

Hoppin' John is my favorite meal to have in the beginning of the new year. Since we were on vacation on New Year's day, I wasn't able to make the spicy, black-eyed pea goodness as usual. Back in town, I just couldn't stop craving it, so...I made a GIANT batch for just my husband and I! I had enough for lunches and still some to freeze for later.  If you Google Hoppin' John, you will find loads of recipes. My recipe isn't ground-breaking, but is simple, fresh and can easily be cooked in a crock pot. It's a great Sunday night meal which will stretch into weekday lunches.

Hoppin' John

Servings: 6-8


4 Strips of Bacon, Chopped into 1/2" Pieces
1 Ham Hock
3 Sticks of Celery, Diced
2 Green Bell Peppers, Diced
1 Orange Bell Pepper, Diced
1 Red Bell Pepper, Diced
1 Onion, Diced
3 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
2 Jalepenos, Minced
2 28 Ounce Cans of Diced Fire-Roasted Tomatoes
2 14 Ounce Cans of Chicken Stock
2 Cups of Soaked Black-Eyed Peas (or Canned Black-Eyed Peas)
2 Bay Leaves
1 Tablespoon of Paprika
1 Teaspoon of Salt
1 Teaspoon of Cumin
1/2 Teaspoon of Cayenne
4 Cups of Cooked Rice, For Serving


In a large saute pan, toss in your bacon pieces. Cook on Medium-High heat until they begin to render grease and are starting to brown just on the edges. Add in the garlic and jalepenos. Saute for 30 seconds, stirring, then add the celery, onion, and bell pepper. Cook until the onion goes translucent and the vegetables are just softened. In a large stock pot, or in a crock pot, place your ham hock. Add in the cooked vegetables and bacon, along with the tomatoes, stock, peas and spices. Simmer on low for 2 hours in the stock pot, or until the beans are cooked through. (For the crock pot, you could leave it on low for 6-8 hours.) Serve with the cooked rice and your favorite hot sauce. I like to stir in the rice and save the leftovers for lunch the next couple of days.

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