This is a down-home meal that my mom has made ever since I was little. Whenever we were on ski trips, mom would get requests for it. Whenever she’s on a retreat with her women friends, she makes it. I think she’s even made it on one of those multi-family camping trips we used to take.
Apparently, in the South, it is traditional to make hoppin’ john for New Years. It’s supposed to give you good luck.
Well, I think this one-pot, dirt-cheap meal is good luck any day of the year. I’ve always hated peas, by the way (can you tell I was a picky child?). But blackeyed peas were always the exception – they taste more salty than anything else.
I calculated how much it costs to make and it was like $5. And it feeds at least four people!
Here is my mom’s hoppin’ john:
4 strips of bacon, chopped ($1)
1/2 large yellow onion, chopped (a liberal 50 cents)
1/2 c. long grain rice (30 cents)
1 can diced tomatoes and green chilis – I used fire-roasted (89 cents)
1 can blackeyed peas, with liquid (89 cents)
1/2 c. water (or more, if you need it) (free!)
Fry bacon in a dry, heated skillet until crispy. Transfer to a plate to drain. Pour off all the grease, except 3 Tablespoons. Add the onion and saute until translucent (I LOVE the smell of onions cooking in bacon fat – HELLO!). Stir in the rice for about a minute. Add tomatoes,blackeyed peas, bacon and water. Bring to a simmer, cover with a lid and simmer until the rice is done. This will take 20-40 minutes. Stir. Season to taste.
Serve with freshly baked cornbread and a simple salad.
p.s. I hope you are ready for more Southern dishes as I prepare for my big move to North Carolina!