Hoppin’ John is a dish that originated in the Low Country (Carolinas) made with black-eyed peas and rice. I usually cook Hoppin’ John in the pressure cooker (As in Chef Cheri’s Hasty Tasty Meals ©2003), but this version is tasty and worth a little extra work. Use a 5-quart cast iron Dutch oven for best results. You will need a 1-quart covered saucepan or rice cooker for the rice, plus a tea kettle for boiling water.
- 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
- 1 cup long grain brown rice
- 2 cups boiling water
- 2 tsp. salt, divided
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 pound dried black-eyed peas (soaked overnight and rinsed)
- 6 cups water
- 1 can Rotel® tomatoes and green chilies
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 lb. cooked Andouille sausage
- Preheat cast iron Dutch oven over medium heat and melt 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter.
- Add the brown rice and stir. Toast the rice, stirring often, for about 5 minutes.
- Spoon the rice into a 1-quart saucepan. Add 2 cups boiling water and 1 tsp. salt. Cover and cook over low heat for twenty-five minutes or until tender. Do not overcook.
- Add 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter to the Dutch oven and sauté the onions over low heat. After ten minutes add the garlic, bay leaf, and the black-eyed peas.
- Stir to combine then add 6 cups water. Cover Dutch oven.
- Time for two hours and cook over low heat. After about 30 minutes, lift the cover and move it to allow steam to escape.
- After the peas are cooked, add 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper. Salting peas earlier may make them tough.
- Add ½ pound cooked Andouille sausage cut into ½ inch slices, along with the can of Rotel®. Remove the bay leaf.
- Remove Dutch oven from heat, stir in rice, and serve. Covered, the hoppin’ John will keep warm for about an hour.
Yield: About 6 meal-size servings or 12 side dish servings.