Kick off the New Year with a hot pot of hoppin' John

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Dec 31, 2011



By Mark Cotton
Cold, Hard Football Facts Food Fan


There are a lot of traditions that go with the New Year, like Champagne at midnight, paying too much to go someplace that you normally wouldn’t go the other 364 days of the year and watching Ryan Seacrest morph into Dick Clark (some traditions are understandably better than others).
 
For us here at Cold Hard Football Facts nightclub and towing service, it’s not how you end the old year but how you start the new one. This gives us the chance to do something that everyone wishes they could do: make their own luck.
 
Southerners eat a dish called hoppin’ John, eaten on New Year’s Day, expecting that it will bring good luck in the New Year. The beans symbolize coins, which represent wealth, plenty and prosperity.  In addition, eating this dish with cornbread and greens will increase your good fortune -- but if you really need an excuse to eat cornbread, we're not sure that it’s luck you need.
 
INGREDIENTS
  • 8 ounces black-eyed beans (peas)
  • 8 ounces salt bacon, cut into lardons
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 4 tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Pinch thyme
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 ounces long grain rice
Soak the black-eyed beans overnight in cold water.
 
Strain the beans, put in a saucepan and cover with cold water, add 1 teaspoon of salt, bring to the boil and boil rapidly for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 1 hour.
 
Fry the bacon and set aside. Fry the onion and garlic until soft, not brown, in the residual bacon fat then add the tomatoes, fry lightly for 1 minute. Add the onion, garlic, tomatoes, bacon, bay leaf, thyme, cayenne and black pepper, to taste, to the cooked black-eyed beans and taste for salt.
 
Cook for a further 20 minutes, the water should have evaporated by this time. In the meantime, cook the rice and add to the black-eyed bean mixture.
 
Serve hot with cornbread and greens.

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