Hoppin’ John

Hoppin’ John is one of those classic Cajun dishes that come with as many versions, stories and flavors as there are cooks located in the United States

New Years Day is nearly here, and there are some Southern Traditions I plan to uphold, one of them being Cajun Hoppin’ John along with a few other delicious Old Southern traditions. Hoppin John, like most Southern foods, has a rich history to be told.

Traditionalists may have a few words to say about my Cajun Flavored Hoppin’ John recipe, and that’s ok. We all have our specific traditions and family recipes we enjoy making. The primary ingredients used to make Hoppin’ John were simple: one pound of bacon, one pint of peas, and one pint of rice. You couldn’t get any more straightforward or traditional than that back in the day.

Traditionally Hoppin' John was considered to be a Low Country menu item before becoming popular and spreading to the entire Southern region. Hoppin' John is said to have evolved from the rice and bean mixtures that were made and consumed of enslaved West Africans en route to America. Hoppin' John has also been traced to similar menu items in West Africa, such as the Senegalese dish, thieves niebe.In  Sarah Rutledge’s The Carolina Housewife -1847, it’s essential to know that everything was cooked together in the same pot. “First put on the peas, and when half boiled, add the bacon. When the peas are well boiled, throw in the rice, which must first be washed and graveled. When the rice has been boiling half an hour, take the pot off the fire and put it on coals to steam, as in boiling rice alone.”

Traditionally Hoppin’ John was considered to be a Low Country menu item before becoming famous and spreading to the entire Southern region. Hoppin’ John is said to have evolved from the rice and bean mixtures that were made and consumed by enslaved West Africans en route to America. Hoppin’ John has also been traced to similar menu items in West Africa, such as the Senegalese dish, thieves niebe.

One common tradition; is that each person at the meal should leave three peas on their plate to make sure that the coming year will be filled with luck, fortune, and romance. Another tradition holds that counting the number of peas in a serving predicts the amount of success or wealth that one may expect have in the coming year. I’ll take any of the traditional outcomes; I could use luck, fortune, and plenty of romance in the following year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy upcoming New Year, everyone, from The McCallum Kitchen!

 

 

Ingredients needed for Cajun Hoppin’ John
  • 1 pound of  black-eyed peas or field peas
  • Water to soak beans overnight
  • One tablespoon of bacon grease or oil
  • One large yellow onion chopped
  • 1 cup of thinly sliced celery
  • Five cloves of garlic thinly sliced
  • 1-10-ounce can of diced tomatoes with chilis
  • 6 cups of low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 pound of uncooked andouille sausage or smoked sausage
  • One ham hock
  • Two bay leaves
  • One bouquet of fresh thyme
  • 1/2 of a tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  • a dash of hot sauce
  • a pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt, to own taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to own flavor
  • 4 cups of already cooked white rice, less water method
  • spring onions to garnish, optional

 

 

 

 

5 from 4 votes
Hoppin' John is one of those classic Cajun dishes that come with as many versions, stories and flavors as there are cooks located in the United States
Cajun Flavored Hoppin’ John
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 30 mins
Total Time
1 hr 50 mins
 

The original ingredients used to make Hoppin’ John were simple: one pound of bacon, one pint of peas, and one pint of rice. You couldn’t get any more straightforward or traditional than that back in the day.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Cajun
Servings: 6 people
Author: hmccallum
Ingredients
  • 1 pound of black-eyed peas or field peas
  • Water to soak beans overnight
  • 1 tablespoon of bacon grease or oil
  • 1 large yellow onion chopped
  • 1 cup of thinly sliced celery
  • 5 cloves of garlic thinly sliced
  • 1-10- ounce can of diced tomatoes with chilis
  • 6 cups of low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 pound of uncooked andouille sausage or smoked sausage
  • 1 ham hock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 bouquet of fresh thyme
  • 1/2 of a tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1 dash hot sauce
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt to own taste
  • freshly ground pepper to own taste
  • 4 cups cooked white rice less water method
  • spring onions to garnish optional
Instructions
  1. Wash and rinse the dried field peas or black-eyed peas a few times before placing in a large pot to soak overnight, be sure the beans are covered -about 3 inches of excess water above the dried beans. Soak overnight or at least 8 hours before attempting to cook the dried black-eyed peas. Once peas have soaked drain and reserve in a colander till needed.
  2. Place a large stockpot or saucepan over medium heat; add 1 tablespoon of bacon grease or oil to the stock pot or saucepan, chopped yellow onion, thinly sliced celery, and sliced garlic. Cook for about 2 minutes.
  3. Next add 1 can of diced tomatoes with chilis, 6 cups of low-sodium chicken broth, 1 pound of andouille sausage or smoked sausages, 1 ham hawk, bay leaves, 1 bouquet of fresh thyme, Cajun seasoning, dash of hot sauce, pinch of red pepper flakes, kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper to own taste. Reduce heat to low heat and simmer 1 hour and 15 minutes hour or till black-eyed peas or field peas become softened and a creamy texture is noticed.
  4. Serve the Hoppin’ John mixed in with the white steamed rice a side of collard greens and garnish with spring onions if desired.

 

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