Hoppin’ John with Collards
Hoppin’ John is a dish served on New Year’s Day as a symbol of good luck for the coming year. The black-eyed peas represent coins and the pork represents prosperity. Collard greens, which are also symbolic of wealth (they represent green, folding money), are often served alongside Hoppin’ John, but we have cooked them right along with the peas and rice.
SHORTCUT: If you can find it, use prewashed, shredded collard greens.
Total Time: 2 hours plus overnight soaking
Hands Time: 15 minutes
1 pound dried black-eyed peas
1 small smoked ham hock (about 1/2 pound)
2 bay leaves
2 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
10 cups water
1/2 pound fresh chorizo sausage or hot Italian sausage
1 cup rice
6 cups shredded collard greens
2 teaspoons salt
1 large sweet onion, sliced
1 large yellow bell pepper, diced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1.Soak the black-eyed peas overnight in water to cover by 2 inches. Drain well.
2.In a large pot, combine the ham hock, bay leaves, garlic and water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a high simmer, partially cover and cook for 1 hour to make a stock.
3.Meanwhile, prick the chorizo in several places with a fork. In a medium skillet, with 1/8 inch of water, cook the chorizo over medium-high heat until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Set the sausages aside. When cool enough to handle, cut into dice.
4.Add the drained black-eyed peas and chorizo to the pot of stock. Cover and cook until the peas are almost tender, about 45 minutes.
5.Add the rice, collard greens and salt, re-cover and cook until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes. About 10 minutes before the rice is done, stir in the sweet onion and bell pepper. Pull off any meat from the ham hocks and add to the pot. Discard the bay leaves. Stir in the lemon juice.
Makes 10 servings.