Hoppin’ John is a New Year’s Day tradition in the South, The legend is that eating black eyed peas on the first day of the new year will bring you luck and wealth. We could always use a little luck and extra money around here so we always eat our peas on New Year’s Day.
Every Southern Cook makes Hoppin; John a little bit differently. The reason for this is because the recipes have been handed down through families and changed over the years to suit the current cooks taste.
That’s the case with the recipeI I’m sharing with you today, This version is partly my Mom’s recipe and partly my own but it is completely delicious.
There are two main differences in my recipe and my Mom’s. The first is I add green bell pepper. I think the bell pepper adds a sweet flavor to the recipe that contrasts nicely with the savoriness of the ham. The second difference is that I serve my Hoppin’ John with rice where Mom served it over rice. I like to cook my rice in the skillet with the peas, ham and seasonings because I soaks up the flavors while it’s cooking.
Of course, you can choose to serve this version the traditional way if you choose. Just omit the step where you add the rice and broth to the skillet.
Now if you want to make it my way which I think is the best way you’ll begin by drizzling the bottom of a large skillet or dutch oven with olive oil and then cooking a chopped green bell pepper and a chopped onion unit tender. Next add chopped ham steak or if you have it leftover ham from Christmas is perfect. Cook until the ham is heated though then add the peas and seasonings. Stir everything together cooking until fragrant. Finally add one cup of rice and a cup and a half of chicken broth. Bring everything to a boil. Then place the lid on top and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally.
I hope you’ll enjoy this recipe with your family this New Year’s Day and that the new year brings you lots of love and happiness.
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Happy Cooking Y’all!
- 1 lb ham steak, chopped
- 1 cup rice
- 2 bags frozen black eyed peas or 2 cans drained and rinsed
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 small green bell pepper, diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced or 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 stalks celery chopped or 1 teaspoon celery salt
- 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
- 1 teaspoon Oregano
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- black pepper to taste
- Drizzle olive oil in the bottom of a large skillet or dutch oven
- Cook onions and bell pepper and celery until tender (if you are using garlic powder and/or celery salt add those in step four
- Add ham to skillet and cook unit heated through
- Next, add Cajun seasoning, Oregano, black pepper (if using garlic powder and/or celery salt add those now) stir to combine
- Pour in chicken broth and rice, bring to a boil then cover and reduce heat simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally
Looking for more great RICE recipes?