Don't ask me why it's called Hoppin' John and not Jumpin' Charlie but this is what we had for dinner last night. The big guy really wanted to try some black eyed PEAS, and you know how he feels about peas but they're really just another legume aka bean anyway, aren't they.
A Southern dish traditionally served to celebrate New Year's and bring good luck (so we're late for once in our Type A lives), it's really just another form of "rice and beans". We absolutely love the Cajun version so I have to admit to stealing a few of their flavors by using Smoked Andouille rather than the Kielbasa recommended in this recipe from Gourmet magazine. I also added extra onion, lots more garlic, jalapeno and even some diced red pepper along with red pepper flakes to up the spice quotient and better suit our tastes. Oh and gasp, I threw in a can of diced tomatoes too just because I wanted to. We went against tradition and had it without the rice because we wanted some bread with it instead.
My verdict - hearty, wholesome and just OK. Hey I'm from the North ...the far north - what can you expect? As for the big guy, he'll eat anything with enough hot sauce on it and kept saying he really liked it.
You can rest assured we'll be staying off the beans for a while I'm thinking. We've had our share of gasious forming items lately so I think we'll save the cabbage rolls I'd planned for tonight for a couple of weeks down the road. It's been a little noisy around here the past couple of days! TMI!
Hoppin’ John (adapted from Gourmet Magazine)
1 cup dried black eyed peas
8 ounces smoked sausage (I used Andouille, but you could use Kielbasa)
1 large onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 celery ribs, diced
2 large jalapeno peppers, minced
1 red pepper, diced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Coarse ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
1-1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1-1/2 cups chicken broth
1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper as required
Sort and rinse black eyed peas. Place in a large pot and cover with a minimum 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil and boil hard for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let sit for 90 minutes.
Heat oil in large Dutch oven until shimmering. Cut smoked sausage into half inch chunks and add to pot along with onion, garlic, celery, jalapeno, and red pepper. Cook until onion vegetables are soft. Season well with coarse ground black pepper, add pepper flakes and bay leaf. Add drained peas along with chicken broth and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, lower heat to simmer, cover and cook for 40 minutes or until beans are tender. Remove cover when beans are almost done to reduce liquid. Add parsley and season with salt and pepper as required. Serve over cooked rice. Makes 4 servings. Download Hoppin' John