Hoppin' John

Hoppin' John

Hoppin' John

This traditional southern dish is served on New Year's Day to bring good luck to all assembled.

6 Servings

1/8 pound streaky bacon or salt pork, cut into small cubes (about 1/2 cup)
1/3 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
2/3 cup onion, finely chopped
10 ounces fresh or frozen black-eyed peas
1 clove garlic, whole
2 3/4 cups water (approximately)
6 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf salt to taste, optional
1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
1 cup rice
2 tablespoons butter

GARNISHES
1 ripe tomato -- cored
1/4 pound sharp cheddar cheese, finely grated
1 cup scallion (including green part) finely chopped

Put the bacon or salt pork in a saucepan and cook, stirring often, until all the cubes are crisp. Add the carrots, celery, and onion and cook, stirring, about 1 minute. Add the peas, garlic, about 1-1/4 cup water, or to barely cover, thyme, bay leaf, salt and red pepper flakes. Bring to the boil and let simmer, uncovered, 30 to 40 minutes, until tender but not mushy. Remove from heat. Put the rice in a saucepan and add 1-1/2 cups water and salt to taste. Bring to the boil and let simmer, covered 17 minutes. Stir in the butter. (Or, cook the rice as you normally would). Cut the unpeeled tomato into 1/4-inch cubes; there should be about 1 cup. Arrange the hot rice in the center of a platter. Spread the hot pea mixture, including liquid over the rice. Scatter the cheese over the peas. Place tomato cubes around the rice. Scatter the scallions over the tomatoes. Serve immediately.

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