Hoppin' John

Most cultures have some specific food you eat to welcome the new year and ensure luck/fortune/prosperity for the duration. Some people eat long noodles to symbolize a long life or food with names like what they want to bring about. In the southern US people eat a black-eyed pea dish called Hoppin' John. The black-eyed peas look kinda like coins, and it's often eaten with greens (the color of money) all adding up to a dish that should bring prosperity in the new year. Hoppin' John happens to be the tradition I've taken on; a little prosperity can't hurt, and the food really helps settle the morning after stomach. I have been trying to make a Hoppin' John that doesn't taste like dirt (black-eyed peas have a lovely if quite earthy flavor) for three years now, and have finally succeeded!

This serves 4-6 people as a meal

hoppin' john
  • 3 cups black-eyed peas
  • 4 cups broth
  • 3 strips bacon
  • one medium onion
  • healthy pinch red pepper flakes
  • a handful fresh spinach per person
  1. put peas in a large bowl and just cover in water
  2. using kitchen shears cut bacon into small pieces over a large heavy-bottomed pot
  3. cook bacon in pot until crispy
  4. dice onion
  5. pour off excess bacon grease and add onion to pot
  6. cook onion until translucent
  7. add peas & pepper and stir thoroughly
  8. add broth (I used chicken) and simmer gently until peas reach desired doneness (3-4 hours)
  1. rinse and roughly chop spinach
  2. fill each bowl 2/3 with the fresh spinach
  3. top with hot Hoppin' John and a pat of butter
  4. enjoy, make a resolution to be less hung-over next year
hoppin' john

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