If it is New Year’s Day in the South (and it is), then your black-eyed peas and greens should be about done, right? Well, this year our peas were added to some rice and the result? Hoppin’ John.  I did a quick search and found this recipe on Garden and Gun’s website. The contributing chef? Stephen Stryjewski from the restaurants Cochon, Cochon Lafayette, Cochon Butcher in New Orleans.

Overall, I was pleased with the dish, but I offer a few suggestions should you decide to make this recipe:

* I am forever confused about how much liquid should or should not be in a Hoppin’ John.  And even following these directions, I either had too little or too much. Nonetheless, most of the water was absorbed in the cooking/warming process, which made it a little mushy. Advice? I am looking for yours, but until then I just warn you to watch it closely during the last stages of the cooking process.
** Black-Eyed Peas: I have always soaked black-eyed peas overnight before cooking them and then I read a few recipes in my Hoppin’ John research that suggested you could simply cook them low and slow rather than soaking the night before. Well, then I went and asked the question on Facebook and all h-e-doublehockeysticks broke loose. Little did I know how strongly folks felt about black-eyed pea preparation. Overall sentiment? Soak those suckers. And I did.
*** Heat: If you like your Hoppin’ John with a little heat, then you’ll need to add a bit more that one jalapeno to this recipe. Perhaps even some hot sauce or another kind of hot pepper would do the trick.

Because I didn’t adapt the recipe too much, I’ll just send you over to the original source for the full recipe. Just click HERE. As you can see if you compare my photo with theirs, our dishes turned out a tad different. Mine = Mush. Theirs= delicate and fluffy.


Okay so now to the Collards. Truth? I am not a cooked greens fan. Sorry, folks. Someone has to tell the truth around here! All of that changed last night when I devoured my friend Mary Beth’s collards. Shoo wee that stuff was good. I’m guessing it is because she grew them herself and those greens were full of l-o-v-e. Just look at them!


Then they turned into this!


The recipe came from Southern Living, so if you want to try some amazing tasting collards, just click HERE.

Here’s wishing you good health, luck, and lots of love in 2013. Happy New Year!