Wednesday, January 25, 2012

107. Hoppin' John Black Eyed Peas



On New Year's Day I made my family their first batch of Hoppin' Johns.  Black eyed peas at their best.  I grew up eating black-eyed peas.  My grandfather was from the South and it was a staple, along with chicken fried steak and fried okra.  Two things that I still love to this day but don't eat much of.

I followed a recipe the first time I made the dish.  My kids did not find the flavor too appetizing.  This was okay because it meant more for Cory and I.  We loved it!  It made such a simple snack and quick lunch.  It reheated like a dream in the microwave.  The best part about this dish is that I was able to make it in the crock pot…SCORE one for the easy team.

I found myself craving this again last week and decided to make our own from memory and from what I thought was missing the first time around.  It came together and we have enjoyed our second batch for this new year.  Does this mean we get double the luck?  LOL

I don't remember how our black-eyed peas were prepared as a kid, I just know I ate them.  I talked to my Mom, who HATES black-eyed peas.  I couldn't imagine someone feeling this way about a cute little bean. I then found out that the only way she had eaten them, and apparently me too, was straight from a can.  A CAN…with all of the slime, she said.  No wonder she did not like black-eyed peas.  She will be visiting me this summer and I will make her a batch of this to see if her opinion will change.  In this case, fresh is best people.  Don't settle for a can of black-eyed peas.  They take no time to cook, similar to a split pea.

The fun part of this recipe is the sausage.  You can use any type of sausage that you like and it will enhance your peas to that flavor.  I like to buy my sausage at Whole Foods in the meat department.  They have a huge selection.  I just remove the sausage from the casing before I fry it up.

Enjoy this recipe, I know I will be again soon.

Recipe:  Hoppin' John Black Eyed Peas

3 large sausages, casing removed
4 slices of bacon, cut into pieces
1/2 cup of red onion, chopped
2 tsp. of garlic, minced
1/2 cup of celery, diced
1/2 cup of bell pepper, diced
1 package of black eyed peas or 2 cups
4-6 cubes of chicken bouillon
6 cups of water
3/4 tsp. cumin
salt to taste, its best to do this after it has cooked

Saute the onion, garlic, celery and bell pepper for 5 minutes.  Cook the sausage and bacon.  Add all of the ingredients to the crock pot.  Cook on high for 4 hours.  Most of the juice will be gone, you may have a cup left.  Serve immediately.

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