Happy New Year!
On New Year’s Day, I cooked a rice and bean dish called Hoppin’ John to go with fondue.
For Christmas, my parents gave me some preparation bowls, so that I can measure ingredients out beforehand. Before cooking this recipe, I put in a 1/2 teaspoon of thyme in a preparation bowl and set out 3 slabs of bacon on a plate.
The recipe calls for a cup of back-eyed or other dried peas that have been washed, picked-over and soaked. Since the grocery store was out of dried black-eyed peas, I chose to use frozen. I put the whole bag of black-eyed peas (12 oz) in a medium-sized pot along with 3/4 of a bag of chopped frozen onion and a 1/2 teaspoon of thyme. Barrier-Free Tip: Since I was using 3/4 to the whole bag of onions and black-eyed peas, I chose not to use the preparation bowls. However, using the preparation bowl with the thyme was very helpful because I didn’t have to worry about spilling and putting too much in the pot. In addition to the peas, onion and thyme, I laid three slabs or four ounces of bacon on top of the mixture and then filled the pot with water until it covered the mixture by at least 1 inch. You can use a smoked ham hock, if you prefer. Note: The recipe says to cover the ingredients by 2 inches, but since I used frozen black-eyed peas and onion, I chose to cover the ingredients by an inch.
After I brought the water to a boil over medium-high heat, I brought the heat down to medium and left it there until the beans became tender. Barrier-Free Tip: Since I used frozen black-eyed peas, it took the peas about 15 minutes to became tender. If I had used dried black-eyed peas, it would have taken 1-1 1/2 hours for the peas to became tender.
Once the beans became tender, I transferred the bacon to a plate using tongs. The instructions said to remove three cups of water at this point. I chose not to because there wasn’t an excessive amount of water and I didn’t want to mess with removing three cups of hot water from a pot. Barrier-Free Tip: I tried to remove the fat and cut the bacon into pieces with a knife, but realized quickly that the knife could slip and cut me. So, instead, I waited until the bacon cooled down and the tore it up into pieces with my hands. Once the bacon was torn into pieces, I put them in one of my preparation bowls and then dumped the bacon into the pot.
After tasting the broth, I added some salt and pepper. Then, dumped in the white rice. I stirred in the rice and let it cook, covered, until the rice was done, which took about 15 to 20 minutes.
My family really liked this recipe and it went well with the fondue. I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year’s Day. Stay tuned for next week’s recipe!