Thursday, January 7, 2010

Hoppin' John with Masa Cornbread

Come sit a spell whilst i cook up a storm of good ol' fashioned Southern hospitality. Hoppin' John is a traditional American New Year's soul food from the deep south. Technically if you eat it the day after the 1st January, it would be called Skippin' Jenny. Can someone tell me what to call it when you eat it on the 6th??

Well slap me on the head and call me silly, this dish is meant to be good luck to eat in the new year! And shoot, i reckon it sure is satisfying, and pretty darned cheap too. Authenticity be damned, you should use black eyed peas but as i could not source any, i've used harricot (white) beans in lieu. You could really use any beans you like, just don't use canned ones as they ain't worth a plugged nickel.

Hoppin' John
  • 4 1cm slices good smoked bacon (the main flavouring ingredient so go for flat-cold good stuff)
  • 1 1/2 cups dried black eyed peas / harricot beans, soaked overnight in water and dreaned
  • 1 red capsicum
  • 1 green capsicum
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped finer 'n a frog hair split four ways (crushed)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Salt, Black Pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1L chicken stock
  • 1 cup rice
  • Finely chopped spring onions, for garnish

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup masa (or 1 cup corn meal/polenta)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp baking powder

Hoppin' John
Cook the rice as per usual and then set aside.
Dice up the bacon into cubes

Dice up the onion and bell peppers into cubes

Place a large pot onto the stove on medium heat with the olive oil.
When the pot is hot, add the bacon and fry for 5 minutes.

Add the onions and peppers and fry for a further 5 minutes.

Add the beans, stock, herbs and spices, and cook for approximately 40 minutes or until most of the liquid is gone. It should look a bit more 'saucy' than 'soupy' now.
Add the rice and turn off the heat.
Chop up the spring onions finely and sprinkle ontop of each serving.

Leave for 5 minutes before serving.

Preheat a skillet in an oven set to 225 degrees.
Place the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
Add the egg, melted butter, and 3/4 of the buttermilk.
Mix only until just combined; the batter should be rather wet. If not, add more buttermilk.
Carefully remove the skillet from the oven and spread the batter into it (don't be too fussy)

Return the skillet to the oven and cook for 25 minutes or until the top begins to turn golden brown.

Turn the skillet onto a chopping board; the cornbread should just fall out.
 Slice and serve with the hoppin' john and you'll be proud as punch.

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