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Hoppin' John

Editor's note: The recipe and introductory text below are from The Glory of Southern Cooking by James Villas. As Villas explains, hoppin' John is eaten on New Year's Day because black-eyed peas look like coins and are considered lucky. Wanna know why this age-old dish of black-eyed peas and rice is eaten all over the South on New Year's Day to bring good luck? Because the peas look like little coins that swell when cooked, that's why. (Some say for ultimate success and prosperity, you should eat exactly 365 peas.) Stories abound about the obscure origins of the name hoppin' John, one being that, in antebellum days, a certain lame black cook named John hopped about a plantation kitchen on one leg while preparing the dish. Of course, the debate rages from region to region over the correct approaches to hoppin' John. Must the peas be served with rice? Should they actually be cooked with rice? Are tomatoes a key ingredient, and if so, should they be stewed and spooned over the peas and rice or simply chopped raw over the top? Should the peas be cooked till they're almost mushy or just al dente? Herbs added? Everything cooked in a saucepan or cast–iron skillet? Here's the way I do hoppin' John, which is wonderful with baked spareribs or braised country ham or chitlins — or anything else you can think of.
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Hoppin' John

\"There is a dish that originated in Charleston called Hoppin' John,\" Edna Lewis writes in In Pursuit of Flavor, \"which we had never heard of in Virginia.\" This (along with the fact that she found black-eyed peas a little dull) goes a long way toward explaining why she decided to gussy up its scrupulous simplicity—virtually unchanged through the centuries—with tomatoes. Well, nobody's perfect. Here you'll find the real thing, traditionally eaten on New Year's Day for good luck. Serve it with extra black-eyes and their pot liquor on the side to add more moisture, as well as a platter of Simmered Greens\n.
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Hoppin' John Risotto

Hoppin' John is a traditional southern dish of black-eyed peas and salt pork served with rice. Here, it's a risotto dotted with black-eyed peas and flavored with bacon and pancetta. \r\nThis is an unconventional method for making risotto — rather than slowly adding hot stock to the rice, Rollins adds it, unheated, in just 2 batches. This will allow you more time for preparing the chops that go along with it.
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Best Hoppin ' John Combo

This combines hoppin' john with the flavor of other cooked meats, or seafood on hand to make a wonderful dish.
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Carolina Hopping John - Hoppin' John

Hopping John-plenty hot-is plenty good. Traditional to serve on New Year's Day for good luck in the coming year. From the Southern chapter of the United States Regional Cookbook, Culinary Arts Institute of Chicago, 1947. Overnight soaking not included in preparation time.
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Emeril's Hoppin' John

From The Essence of Emeril....Hoppin' John is a New Year's Southern Tradition:Black-Eyed Peas for good luck, ham or ham hock for good health, and the greens for financial success! I have tried several different recipes for this and so far, this is my favorite! I sometimes add chopped spinach or collard greens even though this particular recipe doesn't call for them, and it's so delish that way too! Happy New Year!!
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Hoppin' John

Goes from scratch to table in half an hour, this dish's leftovers are great to make Hoppin' John Burritos. High fiber recipe helps lower serum cholesterol levels, too, but you must use brown rice, not white. Enjoy! And if you really like it hot, add hot sauce.
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Slow Cooker Hoppin' John Chowder

"A really easy Southern chowder good for a New Years Day meal or cold winter evening. Serve it with a green salad and cornbread."
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