This year, on New Year’s Day, my tiny Supper Club gathered at my house to ring in the new year, and- as host- I decided to go full Southern New Year’s Day meal.
Growing up, my parents would always cook greens and black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day. Sadly, my mother was not the best cook, so we ended up with greens boiled down to within an inch of their life and plain, plain, icky black-eyed peas. Despite the sad, slimey texture of the greens, it was the peas I hated the most. Plain, half-mushy, and tasting of dirt, I couldn’t imagine how anyone really liked these things. And I’m a bean lover!
When I bought Garden and Gun’s cookbook a few years ago, one of the first recipes I dog-eared was Hoppin John. Despite the sad little peas I saw inside, the recipe photo just spoke to me. Bright green onions, fluffy rice, and the promise of bacon intrigued me.
For dinner on Wednesday, I took a chance on Hoppin’ John, along with Paula Deen’s Collards, pan-fried pork chops, and cornbread. It was this recipe, though, that I think stole the show. A tiny bit of heat from a jalapeño, lots of onions, and salty bacon and country ham bits filled the dish with flavor, and while the black-eyed peas were still there, their earthy flavor and texture seemed better than usual.
I substituted country ham for the Tasso (since we aren’t in NoLa), and bought pre-cooked black-eyed peas at Whole Foods so I could skip the first step. The full recipe from Garden and Gun is linked here.
** this post is not sponsored in any way. all thoughts and opinions are my own **
** photo from Garden and Gun **