Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Hoppin' John: An Unassuming Fellow.

Oh Hoppin' John, how I lament that you and I never crossed paths before! I thought about dressing him up a little for the photo, but really, it is a very simple and satisfying dish that  just doesn't need anything else.

We met one day, by chance in a grocery store, when this tub of fresh black-eyed peas went on sale for $1.99

How can you pass that up? You cannot. I dare you to, try it. You can't do it.

Then I turned to the back of the box (the "Vegetarian" labeled box) and read this simple little recipe for Hoppin' John.  But why, oh why, did they call for chicken broth?? No matter, that 's easy to fix.

I really didn't know I would love this recipe so much. I did tinker with it a bit, taking out, obviously, the chicken broth, and adding celery and smoke flavor. And what resulted is something my husband would leave me for, if he knew how to make it, which he doesn't, so he has to stay here to get it. Follow? Right.

Hoppin' John, traditionally, as I found out, is made with a very large ham hock. Well, that certainly won't do, now will it? So smoke flavor stands in nicely.

1 tub (about 1.5 cups) fresh or dried black eyed peas, cooked and drained
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups veggie broth
1 tsp smoke flavor
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a stock pot and saute the onion, garlic and celery until soft. Add in the beans and the rest of the ingredients and simmer gently for about 10-15 minutes. Serve over hot rice.

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