Hopping John ~ Hoppin’ John

Posted by on Dec 28, 2013 in Blog, Commentary, Uncategorized | 2 comments

For many years we have begun each New Year with Hopping John.  This traditional southern dish, also known as ‘Hoppin’ John in America, originated in North Africa and was probably brought to these shores as a result of the slave trade. The use of black-eyed peas dates back at least 3000 years when it was part of the Greek and Roman diet. There are many theories on how the name Hopping John started, from folks inviting guests into their homes at the new year with “hop in John” to children hopping around the table before sitting to enjoy the meal. Black-eyed peas are generally considered to assure good luck.

There are many recipes for Hopping John, but the primary ingredients in this tasty dish are black-eyed peas, also known as cow peas, rice and pork. Typically the dried peas are first soaked then cooked. Salt pork is added later. I started out doing just that, however, I’ve gone to a far simpler recipe in recent years. Let me share my recipe, and also how I’ve recently updated it at the urging of my husband who prefers it a bit spicier.

 Hopping John

 

Hopping John

2 cups of canned black eyed peas

½ – 1 lb bacon

(reserve 2 Tablesp of bacon drippings)

½ teasp. Black pepper

½ teasp. Salt

1 cup white uncooked white rice

Cook rice according to directions. Fry bacon and set aside. When rice is done, add black eyed peas, cooked bacon with a couple of Tablespoons of drippings, and salt and pepper. Stir together and heat on low heat for 10 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Chill leftovers and reheat when you are ready for more.

 

Spicier Hopping John 

2 cups of canned black eyed peas

½ lb bacon

(reserve 2 Tablesp of bacon drippings)

1 medium chopped onion

2 minced garlic cloves

1/ teasp of crushed red pepper flakes

½ teasp. Black pepper

½ teasp. Salt

1 cup white uncooked white rice

Cook rice according to directions. Fry bacon and set aside. Sauté chopped onion in reserved bacon drippings until soft and clear. Add garlic and pepper flakes to onion and heat for a couple of minutes. When rice is done, add black eyed peas, cooked bacon, and salt and pepper. Stir together and heat on low heat for 10 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Chill leftovers and reheat when you are ready for more.

There are many variations for this southern dish so feel free to experiment and make it your own.

My sons enjoyed it, and wondered why we only had it once a year. While we never ate it because it would bring good luck, we enjoyed Hopping John every New Years and hope that our new year would be blessed.

 

I hope your New Year will be filled with blessings galore.

 

 

 

 

2 Comments

  1. I was hoping you’d post the recipe for this! Thanks 🙂

    • Try the spicier one, Jill, Jeff will like it even more.