Coast Cooking

Hoppin’ John is a great rice dish

By JULIAN BRUNT

Special to the Sun Herald

Hoppin' John is a Southern favorite.
Hoppin' John is a Southern favorite.

Hoppin’ John may be a low-country recipe, but I say almost anything with black-eyed peas in it, especially if they are homemade, has got to be good.

Remember this week I am blogging about rice, specifically the rice produced on the Mississippi Blues Rice Farm in the Delta. Incidentally, you can buy that rice at the Ocean Springs Fresh Market and Long Beach farmers market on Saturday mornings.

Please use the recipe I blogged about yesterday to make the rice, the addition of melted butter, and the use of chicken stock instead of water makes a big difference.

The trick to making superior black-eyed peas is to make a delicious ham stock first. Use at least 1 cup of large chunks of smoked ham, sauté in a little oil until well-browned. Add a chopped onion, and a bell pepper, sauté for 10 minutes, then add 2-3 cups of chicken stock (homemade of course), now simmer for 1 hour. Taste and season as necessary. Add a cup of dried black eyed peas, cover and simmer for one-and-a-half hour.

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