This press release from Frieda's Specialty Produce reminded me that New Year's is a time to eat blackeyed peas. The Hoppin' John recipe included looks good, although I plan to make Caribbean-Style Blackeyed Peas from a recipe posted some time ago by Lisa Morgan at Champaign Taste. She adopted it from a recipe she found on about.com.
Do you plan to make blackeyed peas this weekend?
Respect for the blackeyed pea
Discover the legacy and flavor of this humble yet delicious legume
What’s with the blackeyed pea? Why does this little black-and-white legume garner so much attention during the New Year? Frieda’s Specialty Produce distributes thousands of blackeyed peas to produce departments around the country each year, in preparation for New Year’s feasts featuring Hoppin’ John and other traditional comfort foods.
Grown all over the world, blackeyed peas have a special place in Southern U.S. cuisine, where they are believed to bring good luck and traditionally eaten on New Year’s Day. It is believed that blackeyed peas’ reputation for luck may originate from the U.S. Civil War. Some say that when most of the food sources were destroyed and pillaged in the war-ravaged South, blackeyed peas provided sustenance, thereby earning their “good luck” status.
Try Frieda’s version of Hoppin’ John with a spicy kick from Habanero peppers:
Frieda’s Hoppin’ John
2 6.5-oz pkgs. Frieda’s Dried Blackeyed Peas, (or 1 11-oz. tub Frieda's Fast Cooking Blackeyed Peas) cooked according to package directions and drained
1 1/2 cups uncooked long-grain white rice
41/2 cups water
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
6 strips bacon
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup red or green bell pepper, chopped
½ cup celery, minced
¼ cup parsley, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Frieda’s Fresh Habanero Chile, seeded and finely minced (or Dried Habanero, reconstituted according to package directions)
Salt and pepper to taste
In a Dutch oven, place rice with par-cooked Blackeyed Peas and water. Stir in thyme and bay leaf. Cover and bring mixture to boil. Uncover and reduce heat; simmer 15 to 18 minutes or until rice and beans are tender, checking to make sure mixture does not boil dry.
Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Drain bacon on paper toweling reserving 2 tablespoons drippings in skillet. Add onion, bell pepper, celery, parsley, garlic and chile to drippings in pan. Saute about 3 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Crumble bacon; add to skillet. Remove from heat.
When rice and beans are done, drain off any excess liquid. Remove bay leaf. Stir bacon mixture into rice and beans. Add salt and pepper to taste. Makes four servings.
Photo is from Frieda's.