Robert’s healthier riff on Hoppin’ John Black Eye Peas for luck in the New Year of 2014
This stir-fried version of black-eyed-peas-and-rice has plenty of flavors from bits of bacon or ham, without a pound of ham hock needed. It’s a great way to use up holiday leftovers. You can add whatever vegetables and grains you have on hand to this and it only gets better. Black Eye Peas and Collard Greens (on the side) are good luck foods to ring in the New Year and a big Trottmann Family and Southern tradition.
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces slab bacon or smoked ham, cubed
2 onions, chopped
2 red bell peppers, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried
Salt and black pepper
2 cups cooked white or brown rice, preferably chilled. Choose the rice you love.
2 cups cooked or canned black-eyed peas, drained, liquid reserved
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
Put the oil in a large skillet or large Wok over medium-high heat. A minute later, add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pieces are crisp and browned, 5 to 10 minutes. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat and lower the heat to medium. (If you’re using smoked ham, which is very lean, you won’t need to pour off any fat.) Add onions, peppers, and garlic to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and browned, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the rosemary and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Begin to add the rice, a bit at a time, breaking up any clumps and stirring it into the oil. When all the rice has been added and is glossy, add the peas with 1/2 cup of their liquid. Cook and stir until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve, garnished with parsley and steamed or braised collard greens. Delicious!
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