New Year’s is approaching along with many traditions: Eve de Dick Clark de Rockin Año Nuevo, counting down the end of the year while waiting for the big ball to drop in Times Square, partes, champagne, midnight kisses and resolutions most of us probably won’t keep.
One delicious tradition is eating Hoppin’ John, a Southern version of the rice and beans dish that has its origins in African, French and Caribbean cuisine. The dish is usually made with black-eyed peas (or field peas in the Low Country of South Carolina and Georgia), cebolla, pimientos, spices and some type of pork. Black-eyed peas, also called cow peas, are thought to have been introduced to America by African slaves who worked on rice plantations.
Eating Hoppin’ John on New Year’s Day is thought to bring a prosperous year filled with luck and who couldn’t use some more luck in the coming year? The peas are symbolic of coins and sometimes, a shiny coin is buried in the black-eyed peas before serving. Whoever finds the coin is his or her bowl is supposed to have good luck throughout the year (be sure to find the coin before eating or the Heimlich maneuver will become a new tradition). Alternativamente, the coin could also be hidden under the dinner bowls.
According to tradition, Hoppin’ John should be the first thing one eats on New Year’s Day to ensure maximum good luck. When the clock strikes midnight, families toast each other with champagne and a bowl of Hoppin’ John. If the dish is served with collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens, chard or kale, it adds the promise of wealth since these delicious, nutritious greens are the color of money. Wow, a kiss, luck and money – sounds like a midnight trifecta to me!
On January 2nd, Hoppin’ John leftovers get a new name as it is then called Skippin’ Jenny. Eating it again is supposed to bring hope for an even better chance at prosperity in the New Year. So how did Hoppin’ John get its name? Food historians share several tales and legends:
- A man named John came “a-hoppin” when his wife took the dish from the stove.
- Children would gather in the dining room and hop around the table before sitting down to eat.
- A South Carolina custom was inviting a guest to eat by saying, “Hop in, John.”
- De vuelta en 1841, the dish was sold in the streets of Charleston, South Carolina by a disabled African-American man who was known as Hoppin’ John.
However the dish got its name and whatever its origin, one thing is for sure – it is delicious. So here is my vegan version of Hoppin’ John. If you make it with salchicha sin gluten, the dish is gluten-free. Enjoy a bowl or two of it, on New Year’s Day or any day.
I wish you all a New Year filled with the wealth of health, happiness, peace, amor, compassion and who knows, maybe even some of the green kind.
GF if using gluten-free sausage
Sirve 4 “normal” portions but I usually double the recipe to ensure leftovers or Skippin’ Jenny 🙂
1 – 15oz. puede guisantes de ojo negro, escurridos y enjuagados
2 Tbs. aceite de oliva virgen extra
4 links vegan sausage (store-bought or casero), en rodajas finas
1 large bunch scallions, rebanado, white and green parts separated
3 apio costillas, picado
6 dientes de ajo, picado
1 jalapeño, sin semillas y finamente picado
2 TSP. Jerk seasoning
2 TSP. tomillo fresco, chopped (o 1 tsp. seco)
2 Tbs. pasta de tomate
1 cup uncooked short-grain brown rice
2 hojas de laurel
6-8 cups stemmed and chopped collard greens (or dark green of your choice)
Nota: if you don’t have jerk seasoning, you can make your own blend. The following ingredients make 1/2 cup of seasoning so you can use what you need here and save the rest for later use or cut the recipe to make just what you need:
1/4 taza de azúcar morena
1 Tbs. pimienta de Jamaica molida
2 1/2 tsp. tomillo seco
1 tsp. sal kosher
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. pimienta negro
1/2 tsp. comino molido
1/4 – 1/2 tsp. pimienta de cayena
1/4 tsp. canela
1/4 tsp. de nuez moscada molida
1/4 tsp. clavo de olor molido
Combine the black-eyed peas, 3 cups water and a pinch of salt in a small pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Mientras tanto, heat the olive oil in a large, profunda sartén a fuego medio. Add the vegan sausage and cook until browned, acerca de 2 acta. Add the scallion whites, apio, ajo, jalapeño, jerk seasoning and a pinch of salt. Cook until the veggies brown, acerca de 5 acta.
Add the thyme and tomato paste and cook, revolviendo de vez en cuando, acerca de 2 acta. Añadir el arroz, bay leaves and the black-eyed peas with their liquid to the skillet and bring to a boil. Do NOT stir.
Add the greens; cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed, acerca de 30-45 acta (if you use long grain brown rice, it could take up to an hour). Set aside for 10 más minutos. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Add the scallion greens and fluff the rice with a fork. Disfrutar!
Feliz Vegetariano Año Nuevo!
La “V” Palabra: Dígalo. Cómetelo. Vívelo.