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Black-Eyed Peas (Hoppin' John)

Note: This hybrid recipe might be called Cajun if you added some hot or andouille sausage. Hoppin' John, according to Paul Prudhomme, was a traditional slave dish on plantations. The name may have come from invitations to guests to stay for supper by saying "Hop in, John." Serve with corn bread or other "dippin bread" and some greens, BBQ, blackened fish, or crabcakes. Don't soak the peas or they become mushy!

1 lb black-eyed peas
2-3 T butter and oil
2 small onions, chopped
1 garlic clove, halved
1-2 jalapeno peppers, finely minced, or dried peppers will do
1 green pepper, chopped
1 cp celery, chopped
1 T salt
2 bay leaves
1 t each dried thyme and basil
1 T paprika salt and pepper to taste
1-2 T vinegar
1 T molasses
1 ham hock (substitute salt pork if necessary), or use smoked sausage cut into 1/2 " thick slices 6-10 cps chicken stock (enough to cover peas by 2")

1. In heavy saucepan, saute vegetables in butter and oil till softened. Add vinegar and molasses and cook another 2 minutes.
2. Wash and drain peas and place in the saucepan with the vegetables; cover with chicken stock. 3. Add seasonings and ham hock; cover and simmer till peas are tender, about 1-2 hours, adding boiling water or chicken stock as needed.