Hoppin' into the New Year

Hoppin' into the New Year

November 30th, 2012 By Mary Beth Torgerson in Local Regional News

No respectable Southerner would skip their portion of traditional pork, greens and black-eyed peas to ring in the New Year with the best of luck.

One easy (and tasty) way to serve up good fortune for a crowd is to combine most of these ingredients into one big pot of good luck. Hoppin' John offers a perfect bowl serving of the traditional meal that can help us find money on the street, get a raise or win the elusive Powerball.

Some say that the peas resemble coins, the greens symbolize folding money and pork represents prosperity. This Antebellum recipe of the low country allows plenty of variation, so you can add your greens into the pot or cook them separately with a little ham hock and maybe some hot sauce and vinegar.

Hoppin' John

INGREDIENTS

¦ 1 1/2 cups dry black-eyed peas

¦ 1 pound ham hocks

¦ 1 onion, chopped

¦ 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

¦ 4 cups water

¦ 1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice

¦ Salt and pepper to taste

Whether you gain riches next year or not, there is no denying this is a great way to get 2013 started.

DIRECTIONS

1. In a large pan place the peas, ham hock, onion, red pepper, salt and pepper. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 1 1/2 hours.

2. Remove ham hock and cut meat into pieces. Return meat to pot. Stir in the rice, cover and cook until rice is tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.

3. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Sprinkle shredded cheese over top, if desired.