New Year’s Eve is here and I’m ready to make something traditional – Skillet Hoppin’ John! This Traditional New Year’s Day Hoppin’ John recipe is both delicious and easy to make! Black Eyed Peas, Brown Rice, Bacon and Greens. Start your year off with a bit of Southern luck!
When I married into a southern Cajun family, I learned about all kinds of new delectable foods. Okra, gumbo, collards, grits, and I kept hearing about something called Hoppin’ John. As a born and bred Yankee you can only imagine my confusion.
Well, my mother in-law sent me the recipe with a nice little explanation of what it all means. All food has meaning and that’s half the enjoyment! Here’s what she said:
It occurred to me today when I was preparing our traditional New Year’s Day fare that you should have this recipe. It’s so old that I remember Jeremy loving it when he still lived at home…We Southerners must have black eyed peas (represent coins) and greens (represents paper money) for good luck and prosperity in the new year! Hope you have yours! – L
My family's traditional Skillet Hoppin' John
- 2-3 strips uncooked bacon chopped into bite sized pieces
- 2 tablespoons butter melted
- 1 large onion chopped
- 2 large cloves garlic pressed
- 2 15 oz cans black eyed peas, drained and rinsed (option: cook dried beans ahead of time)
- 1 3/4 cups chicken broth*
- 1 cup uncooked long grain brown rice
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
- rosemary to taste
- thyme to taste
- tabasco to top
Add chopped, uncooked bacon pieces to a sauté pan and cook until crispy.
Add butter to the pan, melt and add in the onion. Saute until onion is soft, adding garlic for the last minute or so of cooking.
Stir in black eyed peas, chicken broth, rice, salt, 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper, thyme and rosemary.
Bring mixture to a boil; cover and simmer 40- 45 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.
Let sit 10 minutes then fluff it all up with a fork and enjoy!
Top with a dash of tabasco or your favorite hot sauce!
*Some rice brands may require a bit more/less liquid. Always check your package and adjust as necessary. Mine said 2 cups, but I find that's too much so I reduce it to 1 3/4 cups.
This can easily be made vegan by omitting the bacon, using vegetable stock and non-dairy butter.
For the greens or “money” portion of this meal, my mother in law suggests braised collards which are not palatable for some family members. So another option is braised cabbage. She says she always serves this with pork chops and corn bread drizzled with cane patch syrup.
Since my kale continues to grow into the winter, that was my choice for the greens. Simply sautéd with olive oil and a little salt.
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