New Year’s Day

The peas are on the stove for Hoppin’ John. My favorite recipe, courtesy of the late lamented Bill Neal of Crook’s Corner in Chapel Hill.

Hoppin’ John
Yields 4 to 6 servings

may make resolutions for the New Year, but they know success (or lack
of it) depends more on what is eaten on 1 January than on all the good
intentions in the world. More black-eyed peas and collards are consumed
on that day than any other time of the year–part of an antique
gastronomic insurance policy. Collards are for a steady supply of
folding green in the coming year; black-eyed peas for plenty of pocket
change. Hoppin’ John is a sort of jambalaya with a light touch. Do not
stew the different elements into a homogeneous mush. Each pea, grain of
rice, chunk of tomato, and piece of scallion should retain its
individual identity, flavor, and texture.

2 cups (475 ml) cooked Black-eyed Peas
2 cups (475 ml) cooked rice
1 cup (235 ml) chopped fresh tomato
1/2 (118 ml) finely chopped scallions
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cheddar cheese, grated (optional)

Recommended equipment: A 12-inch (30 cm) cast-iron skillet or enameled cast-iron sauté pan with cover.

the peas and rice separately if cold. (Add 3 tablespoons water to cold
rice, cover, and steam briefly.) Combine lightly in the skillet or
sauté pan, sprinkle the chopped tomato and scallions over all, and
season with salt and pepper. Cover and heat through. Add grated cheddar
cheese when serving, if desired.


Besides cooking, today I am making resolutions, loading up the 2011
calendar, and picking up the remains of the post-holiday apartment.

Happy New Year to all!



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