Hoppin’ John

This is a traditional New Year’s Day dish, what with the black eyed peas and all, but I think it is a pretty tasty and hearty meal to enjoy year-round.  You can’t really go wrong with rice and beans — filling, nutritious and a complete protein, too.

This recipe is adapted from The Ethnic Vegetarian by Angela Shelf Medearis — a cookbook I highly recommend.

Ingredients
1 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 bell peppers, diced
1 can diced tomatoes
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 dried chipotle peppers
salt, pepper to taste
2 cups black-eyed peas, soaked for several hours
4 cups vegetable broth or water
1 cup uncooked rice

Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Saute onion for 10 minutes, until slightly golden.  Add the garlic, celery, pepper, tomatoes, bay leaves, thyme, sugar, cayenne, and a few grinds of black pepper.  Saute for about 5 minutes, until vegetables have softened and spices are fragrant.

Add vegetable broth and peas and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, with pot partially covered, for at least one hour, until peas are thoroughly softened.

Add the rice — I used a mixture of white basmati and Thai red jasmine rice — and cook for 20-30 minutes, until the rice is done.

I ate this for breakfast on New Year’s Day, in a sort of southern/African version of huevos rancheros or gallo pinto:

Maybe it will bring good luck!

-R

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