Jan 13, 2011

Hoppin John (with a slight twist)

Hoppin John!

I know I’m almost two weeks late sharing what we put together for new years eve dinner, but it was super delicious and a meal that can translate to any night of the week, not just a celebratory night like new years! As our starchy side dish for new years eve dinner we decided to put together hoppin john with a few of our own additions. My mom always taught me to eat my black eyed peas and tomatoes at the start of a new year and this dish covers that! It has great flavor, which spices up the black eyed peas and I just feel like any dish with rice as an ingredient is a comfort dish. On top of all that, it’s easy to put together!

Here is what you need for some fantastic hoppin john!


(Adapted from Paula Deen. Makes 6 side servings.)

  • 2 cups black eyed peas, cooked
  • 2 cups white rice, cooked
  • olive oil
  • 1 yellow bell pepper (any color is fine)
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • garlic powder
  • red pepper flakes (optional)
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh parsley (about 8 sprigs)

If you do not have cooked rice sitting around looking for a dish to be combined in ( I did not) go ahead and start cooking your rice. If you are cooking your rice on the stove, it will take about 20 minutes once you get the rice in the pot. So, once the rice is added to the water, let it cook for about 5 minutes before you start on the rest of the dish.

The prep for the rest of the dish is super simple. Chop the onion, bell pepper, and parsley and halve the cherry tomatoes. (Set the parsley aside to use at the very end.) I should tell you that we chose yellow bell pepper because the red weren’t looking too great that particular day and I was actually able to find cherry heirloom tomatoes and I just couldn’t resist! They’re my favorite! Add no more than a tablespoon of olive oil to a pan on medium heat and add the onions, bell pepper, sprinkle of garlic powder, and red pepper flakes (optional). Let these cook for about five minutes and the onions become translucent.

At this point, the rice should be done if you had to cook it, and you can add it to the onions and pepper. Also add the black eyed peas and let all of this cook for 10 to 15 minutes. At the very end add the cherry tomato halves. I like to wait till the end just so that the tomatoes don’t get cooked down too much. Give everything a good mix and add salt and pepper to taste. ¬†Once you serve, sprinkle each serving with the parsley and you are ready to enjoy!

After finishing a long week of moving, we wanted a new years dinner that was of course delicious but wasn’t going to take us a long time to put together. This is a no hassle dish but was full of flavor and we’d like to think helped us start off the new year with good luck! I should also let you know that if you’re feeding just two people with this dish, you’ll have enough left over to make soup out of it the very next day! So we used it as a side dish one night and then added celery, a little more garlic, teaspoon herb de provence, handful of spinach leaves and chicken broth for a hearty and fulfilling soup meal the second night! Two meals for the price and time of one! Now, even though it’s not the very start of the new year, everyone can always use some good luck with the black eyed peas so go ahead and give this one a try! For now, that’s hoppin john (with a slight twist)…in the shell of a nut!

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