Megan-simple hearty winter recipe: Hoppin' John! #Recipes#megan-simple#New Year's Updated Oct 12 2015 (Posted Dec 31 2013) Guest post by Samantha I have to tell you, I was one of those people that never liked beans. The texture, the scent, the taste — yeah, none of that was appealing. Ever. But when my husband and I started running a cooking site where everything was meant to be simple and (relatively) inexpensive due to its influence, I realized it'd be prudent to have at least a couple bean recipes, even if they weren't my thing. This recipe changed all that, though. I had never had black-eyed peas despite being from the American South (Georgia!) originally, and damn, I was missing out! They have a bizarrely delicious earthy taste that I encourage everyone to try at least once, especially cooked like this… Hoppin' John is a traditional southern dish that is usually eaten on New Years' Day, because it's thought to bring good luck. This serves about six people, or two if you're really in love with it (like me). To make it vegetarian, you could omit the ham hock and use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock, but I would definitely up the seasoning a bit. It's the ham hock that gives this recipe its depth. Although it can be eaten on its own, it is best served over cooked rice (brown rice!) with plenty of the cooking liquid in the bowl to give it all a nice soupy consistency. Related Post This pumpkin cookie dip is vegan, gluten-free, and Megan-simple Cookies, jealous of the ascendancy of the cupcake, have found a way to up their fabulosity: the cookie dip. This cookie dip is vegan, gluten-free,... Read more Ingredients: 1 cup dried black-eyed peas 1 onion 3 stalks celery 2 tablespoons butter 4 cloves garlic 4 cups chicken broth — You can do half chicken broth and half water, too, without a huge loss in flavour (in my opinion). Honestly, I usually just dissolve two chicken bullion cubes in four cups of water and call it a day. 1 ham hock — bacon also works, or salt pork. Recipe: Soak the black eyed peas in water overnight, or at least six hours ahead of time. Discard any beans that float. Rinse the beans. Dice onion, celery, and garlic fine, and sauté in butter for five minutes, or until onions begin to become translucent. Add beans and four cups chicken broth, then drop in your lovely ugly ham hock. Season with plenty of black pepper. Bring the whole mixture to a boil, stirring once or twice, then cover and leave it to simmer for half an hour to forty-five minutes. Drool. This allows the beans to soften and the liquid to reduce substantially. (The simmering, not the drooling…) You can remove the ham hock and attempt to cut off meat from it to add back in, but usually it's mostly skin, and that's a bit creepy. It's not much harder than dropping some stuff in a pan and letting it cook down, so (*cough* Megan): TRY IT. I think you'll be surprised! Plus, this shit smells delicious while cooking. It's one of those recipes that's better the next day, as well — when everything gets to meld. Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Guest post written by Samantha Samantha is an illustrator, textile designer, and fangirl-food-blogger living in the American Midwest with her Irish-transplant, web-designer husband. They are eagerly awaiting the birth of their own little bean (who is not symbolic of coins, to their knowledge). You can catch up with her on Twitter. http://finnodair.deviantart.com PREVIOUS Social Media Diet: How I committed Facebook social suicide NEXT Make every day technicolor: why skipping New Year's is awesome Show/Hide comments [ 9 ] This sound delicious. I'm not sure where I could get a ham hock, do you think I could just brown some bacon in the pan and saute the onion, celery, and garlic in the grease? (And chop up the bacon to add back in of course) Reply I have made this recipe with bacon before, and it is equally delicious. Cooking the onion, celery, and garlic in the bacon grease sounds like new levels of AWESOME. Do it, please. Reply If you go looking for ham hocks, you'll be surprised how many places carry them and offer other pieces of meat you'd never expect! If you can call ahead to your local grocery store's meat department, they'll probably be able to tell you whether they carry ham hocks–and they might be willing to order a pack or two if you express interest. Usually a pack is around 6 or so, but different stores will bundle them different ways. You can always freeze them and use them as needed. Other uses? Braised collard greens, otherwise plain beans, black bean soup and tons of stews. Reply "a cooking site where everything was meant to be simple and (relatively) inexpensive" … that sounds incredibly useful! Would it be inappropriate to request the link? Reply It's right here: http://panemkitchen.com 🙂 Reply Mmm, sounds good. FYI, for vegetarians or just if you don't have any ham hocks/bacon, my magic ingredient for stuff like this is liquid smoke. Several drops or to taste. Not as fabulous a taste, but reminiscent of the flavor that makes bacon addictive. Great in just about any soup, too. Reply I'd like to follow up on this by recommending smoked salt, especially Alderwood smoked salt. I love that stuff so much. I bought a 5 pound bag and siphoned it into little jars to give at Christmas. People loved it. something like this: http://www.amazon.com/Alderwood-Smoked-Salt-Fine-Grain/dp/B00CQBLPPU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389294225&sr=8-1&keywords=alderwood+smoked+sea+salt I bought Maldon smoked salt last time I ran out, it's okay, but the stuff from Amazon was smokier/better. Reply This was dinner last night! we just finished the leftovers for lunch – even better the next day, indeed! I used coconut oil instead of butter, to keep it dairy-free. Also, instead of chicken bouillon, I used the homemade veggie bouillon I keep in the freezer (http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/homemade-bouillon-recipe.html). Besides that, I followed the recipe exactly. And it was every bit as good as promised. Thank you!!! Reply I've been doing a veggie version of this for years and I make it year round. Hoppin' John is fantastic and one of my easy go to dinners. If you can't get a ham hock lots of canned beans in the States come with ham or bacon mixed in. So that's an option too. 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