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You planning on Smoking these aren't you, as you're asking a Smoking Forum for help Wink

For those who don't know what Hoppin John is/was:

Story of Hoppin John

The recipe:

Hoppin' John, like almost all rice and bean dishes, is considered lucky, especially when served on New Year's Day. "Eat poor that day, eat rich the rest of the year" is both the explanation and the hope...but the experience is one of reaffirming one's roots. Finally, vegetarians will want to note that in New Orleans, on Fridays and during Lent, butter or vegetable oil was substituted for all meat and fat. A hoppin' John made with olive oil and a generous pinch of hot pepper is a very good dish.

Most hoppin' John recipes are identical except for tiny variations -- one cook using bay leaf, another thyme -- so rather than repeating them all I have composed the following master recipe, which allows for individual taste in the matter of seasoning and explains the traditional options that a Carolina cook might elect in order to give the dish her personal signature. Be sure to read the recipe through carefully, to chart your own course before you begin to cook.

Hoppin' John
[serves 4]

1 cup black-eyed peas or cowpeas prepared for cooking as directed below.

a small chunk of lean slab bacon, sliced thick, or a cracked ham or beef bone (George Washington Carver recommends the latter, saying "it adds much to the flavor") or a small chunk salt pork, sliced and simmered in ample water for 15 minutes to reduce the salt

1 onion, chopped

1 cup raw rice

2 teaspoons salt

1 hot red pepper, fresh or dried, seeded and diced, or Tabasco sauce to taste

(all, some, or one of the following, as you choose)

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 bay leaf

minced fresh parsley

a litttle thyme

black pepper

Pick over the black-eyed peas carefully, removing any bits of rock and unsavory-looking peas. Rinse well and cover with 5 cups of water. Soak for four hours before proceeding with the rest of the recipe.

Strain out the beans and bring the water to a boil. Return the beans, with the bay leaf, if using, plus a teaspoon of the salt, and let them simmer for about 45 minutes. (If you are using a cracked pork or beef bone, add it now, also, and ignore all bacon/salt pork instructions, frying up the onion in a bit of melted fat or oil and adding it when you add the rice.) While the beans are cooking, prepare the bacon/salt pork by frying it until the pieces are crisp. Either reserve these until the end of cooking (to lend a touch of crispness) or put them into the beans when the rice is added. Fry the onion in the fat once the pork has been removed until it is translucent but not brown. Either way, reserve the fat.

At the end of 45 minutes, taste the beans for doneness; if they are soft but not mushy, they are just right. Eyeball the remaining liquid in the pot -- there should be at least 21/2 cups. If not, add more water. Pour in the rice and mix in all the other seasonings including the second teaspoon of salt, the bacon/salt pork bits (unless holding them for the end), and all -- or as much as you want of -- the cooking fat. Stir the mixture well and bring the liquid up to a simmer. Let cook for another 20 minutes.Then turn off the heat and let the dish rest for 10 minutes. Taste. The beans should be just a little more tender, the rice perfectly cooked. Crumble over the reserved bacon or sprinkle over the crisp salt pork bits, if any, and serve. Pass around a platter of cornbread and a salad of fresh greens or a bowl of cooked ones.

� John Thorne 1992
Well now,some things are better started from scratch and sometimes we ought to consider a can.

I cook every kinda dried bean I've found,but I still use bush's blackeyed peas.

My family has been cookin' them for generations.
Great Granny cooked 'em as fresh field peas.

Like Smokin' says,"don't save learnin' for the big event".

If you cook field peas all the time,it is natural.

If you don't,I'd think about canned, Made from DRIED peas.

Bush will have them on sale all over the South 3/$1.

Cook up your other ingredients and add dem peas 'bout 30 mins befo' servin'

I do a 5 gallon cooker every New Year's Day.

They goes wit' collard's,cabbage an' pork.

Iron skillet o' cornbead-no sugar.

Ham hocks,leftover smoked butt/shoulder,country bulk breakfast sausage,andouille, ham leftovers,an' bacon drippin's all be fine additions.

Fry ya up some rough chopped onions,celery,garlic,and bell peppers in your drippin's.

A can o' 'maters goes good,too.

"course ya goin' ta need you a few chopped jalapenos for character and a little oregano and a TBSP of Gebhardt's Eagle brand don't hurt none.

Keep 'em on the stove all day,with rice on the side,for everybody that stops by.

Now that an' a little tequila bloody mary give ya luck all year.
Well, I think Coffeebluff's a ringer...

Hoppin' John? Every Cracker can do it. Who you kiddin?

On the other hand, Coffeebluff uses mesquite wood away over on the Georgia salt marshes. Gotta wonder about that.

Axing about hoppin' john, smokin' with mesquite? Don't know 'bout that ole boy.

Got turnips? (Greens, that is.)

what you trying to say, i2??? you know, u aint that far away! haha.. of course i know how to make hoppin john, i grew up here in ga. but a wise man listens to what others have to say. actually, tom gave me some good ideas to help reduce my cost of the dish this year. we made it last year and sold out by 2 in the afternoon. as for the mesquite, dont knock it till you come and eat my 'q'.....haha....
Wow, this got me thinking. I remember as a small child eating a traditional Xhosa dish that is simple and delicious in the same way called Samp and Beans, or in Xhosa 'Mnqushu' or 'Gnush'. I had almost completely forgotten it until Hoppin' John rang the bell.

Thanks again to the forum. There's some soul in here.

Anyways, here it is for those who might be wondering:

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