Saturday, February 12, 2011

Hoppin' John

American Folklore states that eating Black Eyed Peas on New Year's Day will bring your family prosperity. This mostly Southern tradition has Jewish roots. It is thought that the first Sephardi Jews brought this tradition to Georgia when they settled in the 1730's. By the end of the American Civil War, the custom was practiced by Jews and non-Jews alike throughout the south. Well, I'm all about celebrating our rich American traditions, especially when they are as yummy as this recipe.

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large ham hock
1c onion, chopped
1/2c celery, shopped
1/2c green pepper, chopped
1 Tbsp garlic, chopped
1lb black eyed peas, soaked overnight and rinsed
1 quart chicken broth
1 Bay Leaf
1 tsp dry thyme leaves
3c steamed white rice

Heat oil in a large pot. Add the ham hock and sear on all four sides for four minutes. Add onion, celery, green pepper, and garlic, cook for four mins. Add the black eyed peas, stock, bay leaf, and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 40 minutes. Add more stock or water if the liquid evaporates. Serve over rice.

Crockpot: Sauté onion, celery, and green peppers in a pan. Toss in the Crockpot. Add all the other ingredients (except rice) and cook on low for 5-6 hours. Stir it once or twice. Serve over rice.

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