Hoppin’ John is a Southern New Year’s tradition that is supposed to bring luck and prosperity: the black eyed peas represent coins, and the greens with which it is often served stand in for paper money. Other stories about the dish abound: some say it is made with pork because pigs only look forward, never back, for their food, and others say it should be served with cornbread to represent gold.
- 2 large jalapeño peppers
- 1 pound dried black eye peas
- 8 garlic cloves, divided
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 medium onions, divided
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 ounces smoked andouille sausage, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
- 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 cup chopped green cabbage
- 1 cup long grain white rice
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 6 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Roast the jalapeño peppers on an Anolon nonstick baking sheet until blistered and tender, about 18-20 minutes. Cool 10 minutes, rub the charred skin off, remove the seeds, chop and set aside.
- Combine the black eyed peas, 4 whole garlic cloves, bay leaves, one onion cut in half and 7 cups cold water in an Anolon Nouvelle Copper Hard Anodized Nonstick 4-quart covered casserole and bring to a boil over medium heat; reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the beans are tender but not mushy, about 45 minutes to one hour. Scoop out 2 cups of the cooking liquid and drain the beans; discard the onion, garlic and bay leaves.
- Dice the remaining onion and mince the remaining 4 cloves garlic. Wipe out the Dutch oven, and heat the oil over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook 3 minutes. Stir in the onion, garlic, celery, bell peppers, thyme, cabbage and jalapeño; cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, about 10-12 minutes.
- Add the rice and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Pour in 2 1/2 cups water, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until rice is cooked, about 18-20 minutes.
- Stir in the beans, cilantro, green onions, salt and pepper; cook 1-2 minutes to warm through. Pour in enough of the reserved cooking liquid to moisten—the mixture should be wet but not soupy. Serve warm or room temperature.