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Hoppin' John - Happy New Year!

Before moving to Texas I had never heard of Hoppin' John. But thank goodness I did. It's a southern tradition to eat black eyed peas on New Year's Day - the theory being that the more you eat, the more luck you'll have in the new year. I like luck - and it turns out I REALLY like Hoppin' John. It's smoky, and packed with flavor from the combination of ham, andouille sausage, and bacon. I don't claim to be any kind of expert in southern food, but starting with the "holy trinity" (onions, green bell pepper, and celery) is always a good platform to build flavor. This recipe makes a lot of food - it's great for a party, or a lazy day in your sweats nursing yourself to health after New Year's Eve.


6 slices of bacon

1 TBS butter

1 cup onion, diced

1 small green pepper, diced

1/3 cup celery, chopped

2 tsp garlic, minced

1 1/2 cups ham steak, diced

1/2 pound andouille sausage, diced

3 cups chicken stock

2 cans black eyed peas - do NOT drain

2 cups long grain white rice, uncooked

1/4 cup pickled jalapeno, diced

1/4 cup green onion, chopped

1/2 tsp Cajun/Creole seasoning

2 bay leaves

kosher salt to taste (about 1/2 to 1 tsp)

fresh ground pepper to taste (about 1/4 tsp)


  1. In a large dutch oven or heavy pot, use kitchen shears to cut bacon into small strips and sauté until browned (don't worry if the sides of the pot start to stick/brown, we'll use that goodness in a few steps)

  2. Add butter, onion, green pepper, & celery and sauté for about 5 minutes until soft

  3. Add garlic & cook another minute

  4. Add ham & sausage and cook another few mins until meat is lightly browned

  5. Add the black eyed peas (liquid and all) and chicken stock, and gently scrape the sides of the pot with a wooden spoon to loosen the browned bits

  6. Bring everything to a boil. Once boiling, add rice, pickled jalapeños, and green onion, stirring gently

  7. Add cajun seasoning, bay leaves, and add the salt & pepper to taste (I recommend going light on the S&P at first because you can always add more later, and the meats bring a fair amount of saltiness)

  8. Once it begins to boil again, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 mins

  9. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 mins. You may need to scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to loosen some of the crunchy rice at the bottom (the BEST part!)


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