Coast Cooking

Hoppin’ John is a great rice dish, made with black-eyed peas

Hoppin’ John is a Low Country specialty.
Hoppin’ John is a Low Country specialty. Special to the Sun Herald

This week I’m blogging about a few good things that can be made quickly from rice.

One of the simplest, most sustaining and satisfying rice dishes is Hoppin’ John.

It came to us from the Carolina Low Country, and it is another food that has its roots in poverty.

A poor family could well afford a cup or two of rice, some leftover black eyed peas, a chopped onion or even some wild green onions, and a piece or two of smoked bacon for seasoning.

I am hoping you will use fresh or dried black-eyed peas, but if you just have to, you can use black-eyed peas from a can, once they have been thoroughly rinsed.

Just add them at the very end so they do not turn to mush. Cook the chopped bacon in a sauté pan, and when it is almost done add the onion, cook for 5 minutes, add the black-eyed peas and rice and sauté until the rice just starts to toast. Garnish with a little Valentina Hot Sauce if you like it spicy.

By the way, I am teaching a from-scratch cooking class at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center, 246 Dolan Ave., Gulfport, using locally sourced ingredients and cooking sous vide. Check it out.