I don't exactly know why, I guess it's the hoppin part, but every time I make this dish I think of the time my sister's dog ate a toad.
My sister and her husband always have a Great Dane. They raised them years ago and this is their dog of choice. And if you know Great Danes then you can understand how this happened.
My sis had just let the dog back in from outside, when my daughter says, "Aunt, I think the dog is trying to get sick." Sure enough the dog was standin' in the middle of the livin' room floor and it was obvious somethin' was goin' to come back up.
Sis rushes over to the dog, grabs his collar and tries, I emphasize tries, to get the dog over to the front door to get him out to do his dirty work. BUT low and behold right in front of the door....up it comes. Right at my sisters feet the dog deposits the biggest toad you ever saw.
Every body is Ewwwwwing! and my daughter starts gagging, she takes after her mother, the dog starts retching again, sis finally gets the door open. The dog runs out and the toad, with a slightly bummed up leg, hops out a little crookedly.
That frog coming out of that dogs mouth is a hard image to get over.
Now that I've grossed ya out lets get to the recipe, shall we?
Hoppin John is one of CD's (hubby) favorites. The man can live on legumes and cornbread. I'm just glad they're good for us, since we eat them all the time. They lower cholesterol, stabilize blood sugar and increase our fiber intake and dadgumit they're just good.
Pick over and wash (pronounced worsh) 1 pound of black eyed peas.
In a large dutch oven, brown 1/2 pound of ham chunks in about 2 tablespoons of canola oil.
In an iron skillet, saute 1 large onion, chopped, in 2 tablespoons canola oil over medium heat. Cook onions till they are nice and caramelly (there's that word again).
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
Stir these into skillet with onions and saute about 5 minutes over low heat. Add another teaspoon of oil if needed.
Add the vegetable mix to the dutch oven with the ham.
black eyed peas
10 cups of water
1 - 1/2 cups of uncooked brown rice (I always use brown rice, much more nutritious)
2 tablespoons salt (I always use Kosher, it's more pure)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 can (14.5 ounce) diced tomatoes
2 large jalapeno peppers, sliced into strips plus the seeds. Be sure to remove all of the
white membrane (pith). Also, be sure to oil up your fingers real good like before
working with the jalapenos to avoid pepper burn.
Add these ingredients to the pot with the ham and peas.
Cover and over high heat, stirrin' frequently, bring the peas almost to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer,
covered, about 1 - 1/2 hours, stirrin' occasionally. Peas are ready when they're tender.
Yum, Hoppin John (Oh no-that image again!)
Serve this dish with cornbread and greens.
Tomorrow: Collard Greens with Cornmeal Dumplins'