A New Year’s Day tradition in many Southern households, this distinctively named dish of rice and black-eyed peas is believed to bring good luck for the coming year. It’s often cooked with salt pork; we’ve substituted smoked sausage, just two ounces per person, but you can leave the meat out altogether if you prefer.
Hoppin’ Johnny Black Eyed Peas
3 tablespoons cooking oil
1 onion, chopped
4 scallions, white bulbs sliced and green tops cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 pound collard greens, tough stems removed, leaves washed well and shredded
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 pound kielbasa, halved lengthwise then cut crosswise into 1-inch slices
1 10-ounce package frozen black-eyed peas
1/2 cups long-grain rice
3 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
In large Dutch oven, heatoil over moderately low heat. Add onion and scallion bulbs and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add collard greens, salt, black pepper, and cayenne and cook, stirring, until greens wilt, about 1 minute. Increase heat to moderately high. Add sausage, black-eyed peas, and rice and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Stir in broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until rice is tender and all liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in scallion tops. Yield: 4 servings
Other New Year Eve Good Luck traditions, running around your house at midnight with your underwear outside your clothes turned inside out. Maybe if you’re eating the Hoppin’ Johnny Black Eyed Peas it’s even better.