New Year’s is approaching along with many traditions: Saint-Sylvestre Rockin 'de Dick Clark, counting down the end of the year while waiting for the big ball to drop in Times Square, les parties, 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), oignon, poivrons, 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). Sinon, 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.”
- Retour à 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 saucisses sans 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, amour, compassion and who knows, maybe even some of the green kind.
GF if using gluten-free sausage
Serves 4 “normal” portions but I usually double the recipe to ensure leftovers or Skippin’ Jenny 🙂
1 – 15oz. peut doliques à œil noir, égouttés et rincés
2 Tbs. huile d'olive extra-vierge
4 links vegan sausage (store-bought or fait à la maison), émincé
1 large bunch scallions, tranchés, white and green parts separated
3 branches de céleri, dés
6 gousses d'ail, hachées
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
2 FST. Jerk seasoning
2 FST. de thym frais, haché (ou 1 c. séché)
2 Tbs. la pâte de tomates
1 cup uncooked short-grain brown rice
2 feuilles de laurier
6-8 cups stemmed and chopped collard greens (or dark green of your choice)
Remarque: 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 tasse de cassonade
1 Tbs. sol piment
2 1/2 c. de thym séché
1 c. sel casher
1 c. paprika
1/2 c. poivre noir moulu
1/2 c. de cumin moulu
1/4 – 1/2 c. poivre de Cayenne
1/4 c. cannelle
1/4 c. noix de muscade moulue
1/4 c. clou de girofle moulu
Combine the black-eyed peas, 3 cups water and a pinch of salt in a small pot. Cover and bring to a boil. En attendant, heat the olive oil in a large, profonde poêle à feu moyen. Add the vegan sausage and cook until browned, sur 2 minutes. Add the scallion whites, céleri, ail, jalapeno, jerk seasoning and a pinch of salt. Cook until the veggies brown, sur 5 minutes.
Add the thyme and tomato paste and cook, en remuant de temps, sur 2 minutes. Ajouter le riz, 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, sur 30-45 minutes (if you use long grain brown rice, it could take up to an hour). Set aside for 10 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Add the scallion greens and fluff the rice with a fork. Jouir de!
Heureux Vegan Nouvelle Année!
Le “V” Parole: Dites-le. Mangez-le. Vivre.