RECIPE FROM "SANDY'S
Hip Hoppin' John
(From Southern U.S. Cuisine, contributed by Pat Dailey)
1 pound dried black-eyed peas
2 ham hocks, smoked
2 medium onions
3 cloves garlic, large
2 bay leaves
1 cup converted long-grain white rice
1 (10oz) can diced tomatoes with chiles, juices reserved
1 large red bell pepper, finely diced
3 ribs celery, diced
1 jalapeno or serrano pepper, minced
2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 scallions, sliced
hot red pepper sauce
In a large pot, combine the black-eyed peas, ham hocks, and 6 cups water. Cut 1 onion in half and add it to the pot along with the garlic and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer gently until the beans are tender but not mushy, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Remove the hocks, cut off the meat in large shreds, and set the meat aside. Drain the peas and set aside. Remove and discard the bay leaves, onion and garlic.
Add 2 1/2 cups of water to the pot and bring to a boil. Add the rice, cover, and simmer until the rice is almost tender, 12 minutes.
Mince the remaining onion. Add to the rice along with the peas, tomatoes, and their juices, bell pepper, celery, jalapeno pepper, Creole seasoning, thyme, cumin, and salt. Cook until the rice is tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the sliced scallions and meat from the ham hocks. Pass the hot sauce.