Slow Cooker Hoppin’ John


If you’re not familiar with Hoppin’ John, it is a dish served in the Southern United States consisting of black-eyed peas (or field peas) and rice, with chopped onion and sliced bacon, seasoned with a bit of salt. Some people substitute ham hock, or country sausage for the conventional bacon; a few use green peppers or vinegar and spices. In the southern United States, eating Hoppin’ John on New Year’s Day is thought to bring a prosperous year filled with luck. The peas are symbolic of pennies or coins, and a coin is sometimes added to the pot or left under the dinner bowls. Collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens, chard, kale, cabbage etc. along with this dish, are supposed to also add to the wealth since they are the color of money. Another traditional food, cornbread, can also be served to represent wealth, being the color of gold. On the day after New Year’s Day, leftover “Hoppin’ John” is called “Skippin’ Jenny,” and further demonstrates one’s frugality, bringing a hope for an even better chance of prosperity in the New Year.

I made this yummy dish last year, and thought for sure I has posted it right afterwards, but my bad for not doing so. This recipe contains bacon, so if you’d like to make it vegetarian,  simply omit that and substitute vegetable broth for the chicken stock. This can be served as a stew or you can use a slotted spoon to drain it. Some people like to have the “sauce” on the side to dip their cornbread in.

Hoppin' John

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups Black Eyed Peas
  • 4 oz. bacon, cooked & chopped
  • 1 orange or yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 1 bunch of carrots, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, cut in half lengthwise
  • 32 ounces low-sodium chicken stock/broth
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 sprig fresh Thyme
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 bunch Collard greens, leaves stripped from stem

Directions

  1. Rinse the peas under cold water and pick out any stones or discolored peas. Bring the peas to boil in a medium saucepan full of cold water. Boil the peas for 10 minutes. As the beans cool, start chopping the vegetables. If you are planning to simmer the stew all day, skip boiling the peas.
  2. Cook bacon in a skillet or the microwave, set aside.
  3. Combine peas, diced bell pepper, onion, carrots, garlic, jalapeño halves, stock and seasonings in a slow cooker. Cook for at least 4 hours on low.
  4. About an hour before you are ready to serve, prepare the collards by cutting the leaves into strips and add them to the stew.
  5. Add the reserved cooked bacon at this time. Cook the stew for another 40-60 minutes.
  6. Remove the bay leaves, thyme stems, and jalapeno halves.
  7. Serve alone or over of your favorite rice. If desired, can top with cheddar cheese, scallions and a drizzle of white vinegar.

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Cornbread and Bacon Muffin’ Stuffin


I was watching The Chew last Friday (again) and saw Carla Hall & Daphne Oz make this incredible muffin stuffing recipe, and decided this was going to be on menu this year since I’m just cooking for one (me). I really love the idea of individual servings, and the fact that you can customize these babies when serving a group. The original recipe calls for using sausage, but I substituted bacon since I had some in the fridge. I also halved the recipe, which produced six “muffins”, but am giving you the ingredients to make a dozen. I made these tonight to test them out, and have to say, they’re seriously delicious! I plan on reheating them tomorrow in the oven to accompany the rest of my turkey day meal.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups prepared cornbread (cut into 1-inch cubes)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 8 thick slices of bacon
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 1 cup red onion (small diced)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced Scallions
  • 1 cup celery ribs (small diced)
  • 1/2 cup red pepper (small diced)
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup Swanson’s chicken broth
  • 2 tsp. poultry seasoning
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh Sage
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg (beaten)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Have the cornbread in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Heat a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan and add bacon. Once the bacon is cooked, remove it & break into pieces to the bowl of cornbread.
  4. Add the butter to the pan and then toss in the onions, scallions, celery and red pepper.
  5. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until soft, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the vegetables to the bowl. Then, add the chicken stock, the seasonings, milk, and egg. Toss lightly to combine.
  7. Butter the muffin tins and then spoon the cornbread in. Compress the muffins and then add more stuffing on top.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until just lightly browned. Let cool for 5 minutes before removing from tins.

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