Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year! Now for bit more luck

First for a bit housekeeping, please note that Blushing Hostess will not recap the year that was -out there, or here on the page. The Hostess is not a fan of u-turns. It was what it was, was it not?

Let's move on.

Secondly, though we will spend this New Year in the north, we are not without the southern traditions imparted us over our time in the Carolina's, North Padre, and Florida. It is with a nod to all that the South is that I fondly remember the first time I was served Hoppin' John, just after New Years: I had just relocated to Charleston from New York and after hearing this, a kindly gentlemen brought a small bowl to the table Josh at which we sat at Poogan's: "For good luck." he said, and quietly stepped away. Hoppin' John, was the name of the black-eyed pea dish he placed before me. In Low Country and some say, Gullah, tradition, Hoppin John, a dish of black-eyed peas braised with a little onion, some water, and a ham hock, is traditionally served on New Years to ensure luck in the coming year. While the dish we had that day was delicious, my subsequent attempts to recreate it ranged from disappointing to unpalatable. It was past time to arrive at a recipe of my own which, while non-traditional, still meets the general requirement and tastes - you know - more like something delectable with our traditional New Year's Day pork roast than, say, grout. I'm very pleased with this result, finally. There is still time to get to the store before New Year's supper. Make it a good one, a lucky one, ya'll...

Hoppin' John
Serves 4

2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, minced
1/4 lb. smoked kielbasa, in 1/2" dice
4 cups canned black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
Water to cover beans by about 1 inch, 6 cups or so
1 smoked ham hock or ham bone
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a deep, heavy bottomed pot, set over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook 10 minutes or until translucent. Do not brown. Add the kielbasa, cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the black-eyed peas and hock or bone, then the water to cover by 1" or so. Allow the pan to come to boil, then turn it down to a bare simmer until the liquid is reduced to the consistency of a sauce. Taste and add seasoning if you like. Serve immediately removing the bone or hock or refrigerate up to a day with the bone or hock still in the Hoppin' John, reheat with this also, and remove just before serving.

1 comment:

Visual Vamp said...

We're eating our peas here in New Orleans, and wishing you a very Happy New Year!
xo xo