Today we are sharing an easy dish and southern tradition for the New Year, Hoppin’ John. Blackeyed peas are the main ingredient, and symbolize prosperity. Coins are left under dinner bowls or a penny is added to the pot. Other ingredients include some type of greens, which symbolize money (same color!), and ham, which symbolizes forward motion (because when foraging, pigs root forward). It can be served with rice, but we serve ours with cornbread, which symbolizes gold.
Any leftovers after New Year’s Day are called “Skippin’ Jenny,” since the use of leftovers indicates frugalness, which brings prosperity. All that good luck in one dish – can’t beat it! Try it, it’s easy, warm, flavorful and good for you. How can you lose?? Happy New Year!
1 package dried blackeyed peas
1 smoked ham bone
1 boneless half ham, cubed
1/4 cup olive oil
2 large carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
1/4 tsp. red chile flakes
3 bay leaves
1 1/2 cup greens (your preference – collard, kale, spinach)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 tspn. garlic salt
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Chopped scallions and tomatoes for garnish
Bring peas, ham/ham bone and 8 cups water to boil in soup pot. Reduce heat to simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, skimming foam off the top. Cook 45 minutes to 1 hour, until peas are tender. Drain peas/ham, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid, and set aside.
In bottom of soup pot over medium heat, add oil. Once heated, add onions, carrots, celery, red chile, garlic, jalapeño and bay leaves. Cook, stirring until vegetables are soft, 8-10 minutes. Add back reserved peas, ham and cooking liquid. Add greens and 12 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until greens are tender, about 1 hour. Stir in vinegar and season with garlic salt, salt and pepper. Ladle over cornbread, garnish and serve. Don’t forget your coins!
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