Hoppin’ in to 2011

The custom of eating Hoppin John on New Years Day requires a bit of foresight. I have found that if I don’t soak the black-eyed peas over night they are–how should I say this–less..digestible.

Anyway, I was curious where the name “Hoppin’ John” came from, and what sounds most plausible to me is that it sounds like the french pronunciation of “pois pigeon” or pigeon pea, which is what the french speaking natives of West Africa, who created this dish, would have called it. Cool, huh?

So, it’s tomorrow, and you’ve soaked your beans. Now what? …I like Emeril’s recipe.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large ham hock
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 pound black-eyed peas, soaked overnight and rinsed
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • Bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dry thyme leaves
  • Salt, black pepper, and cayenne
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped green onion
  • 3 cups steamed white rice


Heat oil in a large soup pot, add the ham hock and sear on all sides for 4 minutes. Add the onion, celery, green pepper, and garlic, cook for 4 minutes. Add the black-eyed peas, stock, bay leaves, thyme, and seasonings. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 40 minutes, or until the peas are creamy and tender, stir occasionally. If the liquid evaporates, add more water or stock. Adjust seasonings, and garnish with green onions. Serve over rice.

I’m serving mine with some kale and cornbread.



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