Sunday, December 30, 2012

Slow Cooker Hoppin' John!


 
Ever since I was a little girl, my mother has always cooked black eyed peas and cabbage, along with corn bread on New Year's day.  She was always very adamant about us having to have this for health, wealth and good fortune.  I didn't realize until I got older that most folks in the south believed this bit of folklore or superstition.  Some actually cook some form of greens instead of cabbage...turnip greens, mustard greens or collards, but my mother always cooks cabbage.  If you go to any grocery store in our area the week before New Year's Day, there will be a big display of black eyed peas and plenty of heads of cabbage. If you wait until the night before New Year's Day, there won't be any left.

  The belief is that the black eyed peas represent good fortune and prosperity and the greens or cabbage also represent money...you know, because they are 'green'.   Some say this tradition with the black eyed peas came about during the Civil War, because the northern troops burned all of the crops and took everything from the southern folks that was good to eat, but because black eyed peas were only grown to feed to the livestock they left those alone.  The southerners had to eat them to survive.  Others say that the tradition started over 1500 years ago in Europe and was brought to this country.

I have a secret confession to make, I don't really like the taste of black eyed peas.  I know I am supposed to like them, they are a southern thing and I am writing about and trying to further southern foods and culture, but I just don't like black eyed peas.  Just cooked by themselves, they taste a little like dirt to me. I thought I might be odd in this thinking, but I have an aunt that says the same thing. 

Now if you dress the ugly little critters up some and give them enough spice, I can eat them up.  Needless to say, growing up in a family where you had to eat what was put in front of you, I have eaten plenty of them just plain.  However, when I started cooking them for my own New Year's good luck, I knew they had to be dressed up a little.  Otherwise, I was just going to have to do without luck. Hoppin' John was the perfect solution.   This is a thick soup of black eyed peas, rice, spices and some type of meat...pork mainly.   Here is what you will need for this:

1 lb. dried black eyed peas, washed
8 cups water
4 chicken bouillon cubes (I used Knorr)
1 Tbs. bacon drippings
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium green pepper, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
1 Tbs. garlic, minced
1 lb. breakfast sausage,  crumbled and browned
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. Cajun Seasoning (I used Tony Cachere)
dash of Tabasco sauce (according to your taste)
2 cups rice, uncooked
jalapeno rings for garnish

Place all of the ingredients, except the rice in a slow cooker.  Cook on low for 8 hours or overnight.  Cook rice.  Place a scoop of rice in each bowl and ladle the Hoppin' John over all.  Now you have black eyed peas that most anyone will want to eat!


  Hoppin' John!



34 comments:

  1. we always eat Black Eyed Peas on New Years Day! :-) But this recipe looks amazing too! :-) I'll have to pin it on pinterest! :-)

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  2. I cook mine almost exactly like that except I throw in the rice too(after about 5 hours) and it comes out perfect! So yummy.

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  3. I thought it was just me who thought they tasted like dirt! I'll have to try this one.

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    Replies
    1. I love beans and peas of all kinds. However, Black-eyed Peas and Black Beans are two of my least favorite.

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  4. Wow, not only did you "dress the ugly little critters up", You bout dang near kilt (< slang for killed) them! You could use real dirt, instead of beans that taste like dirt, and you'd never taste it under all those spices! Cool recipe if you want Cajun food, but I think I'll just go ahead and throw a neck bone and a bay leaf, some salt-n-pepper in mine! Serve wit cornbread & a raw vadalia onion, shoot, I'm good to go! BTW, i Do love your website, that banana white chocolate pudding recipe was WOW!!

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  5. This sounds incredible, Southerners must have their black eyed peas!!! doing this for tomorrow! Did you do the photo, I just am dying to know what china pattern that bowl is,it's just beautiful!! My friend and I have been searching the internet to find that pattern...,you know us Southern girls and our china patterns!! Happy New Year!!!

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  6. I fully agree with you, black-eyed peas do indeed taste like dirtI always have to dress mine up a bit.Then they taste good.

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  7. I am not a fan of Black eye peas either, but I had them in as a Salad side dish, Oh were they good. It had a dressing like what you would fined on 3 or 4 bean salad.

    Robin Wyatt

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  8. Looks yummy, thanks!

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  9. Shelia, the china pattern is Johnson Brothers, "Friendly Village" pattern. I think they still carry it at Macy's. Thank you and yes, I know about those china patterns. I am a dishaholic...lol.

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  10. I'm not the biggest fan either, though I can handle them if done right. Your hoppin' John sounds just right! I've got a slow-cooker full of them but I just threw some stuff together and have no idea if it will be good. I'll pin your recipe to try next year! Great picture too btw, I love how your beans got "tan" or brown, mine are so pale in comparison! oh well.

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  11. I do a quick weekday version with black eyes peas, onion, bell pepper, and celery with Tony Cachere Cajun seasoning over Uncle Ben's wild rice. The seasoned wild rice is great with it, just go lighter on the salt in your hoppin' john peas.

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  12. OH MY !!! I made this for New Years Day supper and I just wanted to say THANK YOU !!! This is my new black eye pea recipe or at least my version of it. I adjusted it a bit for my taste. I like hot and spicy but it doesn't like me, so I omitted the jalapeno's and I can't eat green bell pepper, so of course omitted that as well. I used fresh garlic,the onion,spices and a small container of sausage that I had already browned, so not a pound like it calls for. Maybe next time I'll add the celery and a red bell pepper, but these were the best black eye peas EVER! I was actually disappointed that I didn't have more leftover....lol. Thanks again. ~ Roxanne

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  13. Fixed mine fo New Year's day,,,love love!

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  14. Is the Tony Chachere's cajun seasoning actually CREOLE seasoning? I looked, had others looking for me, too, for the cajun with no luck. :( Thank you.

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  15. i grew up HAVING to eat black eye peas every New Year. My grandma was from Arkansas so it was a must. i HATED them, I also thought they tasted like dirt. BUT I'm willing to try your spicy version

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  16. I like black eyed peas so Im going to try this sounds wonderful

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  17. I tried this & its great! I'm from Ky & I was raised that you ate cabbage on new years for wealth! so this will definitely be my new New Years meal! Thank you

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  18. i make these i dont like blackeyed ether but i throw a can of diced tomates in the summer i put fresh tomates and with the onions and other spices they are really good

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  19. I'll have trfy this it sounds yummy. Thank you for the recipe.

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  20. I'm n.t a huge fan either however cooked with a ham hock and the right amount of seasoning and cabbage they taste really good. Your recipe sounds yummy. I'll have to make sometime and then make it for New Year's to eat while watching a football game. I'll y'all know how it tasted. Thank you for the recipe and I hope it tastes as good as it looks.

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  21. Some people (My Wife) likes the dirt taste :)

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  22. Some people (My Wife) likes the dirt taste in Blacked Eyed Peas :)

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    1. With hot freah cornbread & ice tea

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    2. Black Eyed Peas with cornbrean and ice tea

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  23. This is a little different from the recipe I found years ago, but the same general idea. My youngest daughter didn't like any kind of beans and wasn't fond of spicy food either, but I made it anyway. She moved to Oregon 10 years ago and she still makes this recipe for new years day. Her husband heartily approves even though he's not from the south and the superstition has no bearing on him.

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  24. How did your Mom cook the cabbage? I am from NJ-so I don't know about this. But I do love cabbage! Thanks.

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  25. Being raised in the south I love turnip greens and purple hull peas, but I can't stand black eye peas. They just don't have any taste to them at all. But your recipe looks like something I could like.

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  26. Vegan Hopping John fanatic and US southerner living in Greece - I omit all animal parts, use vegetable bouillon, adding to the above hot peppers, leeks, more garlic and I use quinoa instead of rice. It's lovely and I Must have it with spinach or 'horta' every new years day!

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  27. My hoppin' john this year will have kale as the green and ham hocks as the meat. Last year I made it with the regular greens and sausage. I'm going different this year.

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  28. i LOVE black-eyed peas. the flavor comes to my tongue as easily as it comes to my mind. my hoppin' john has two whole links of garlic sausage, cut up, plus a smoked ham hock, loads of fresh-chopped garlic, onions, celery, tomatoes, sliced whole jalapenos (to taste; i usually use about 4-5), bay leaf, and chicken broth. no greens. no more room! maybe it's not technically hoppin' john, but it made my husband, John, hop a lot. and i always add lots of Tabasco to mine. it's my food porn ;)

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  29. Instant dinner: Drain and rinse a can of black eyed peas in a small colander..set your colander on a couple of paper towels til they are not wet..scoop some into a dish and put some mayo, salt and pepper..yummy little pea salad.

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  30. I'm making this today...I'm from the north and we love blk eyed peas! Can't wait to try this. Also amazes me how many people know what dirt taste like...lol

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