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Hoppin' John
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This simple and comforting dish of stewed black-eyed peas is traditionally eaten with collard greens and cornbread on New Year’s Day to bring prosperity for the coming year.
  • CourseMain Dish, Side dish
  • CuisineBulk recipe
  • 4 Tbsp. butter or oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 cup diced red, yellow and green bell peppers
  • 3 2/3 cups bulk dried black-eyed peas
  • 1/3 cup bulk dried navy beans
  • 5 cups low-sodium or no-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 whole ham hock
  • ¼ tsp. thyme or 2 bay leaves
  • ¼ tsp. bulk Frontier Cajun seasoning
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp. pepperoncini brine
  • 4–5 pepperoncini pepper slices
  • Cooked white or brown rice, for serving
  1. Soak beans in cool water or in the fridge for at least 6 hours. Rinse before using.
  2. Heat butter or oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, bell peppers and celery and stir. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in soaked beans, then add chicken broth, ham hock, Cajun seasoning, salt, pepper, thyme or bay leaves, and cayenne, if using. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover for 30 minutes.
  3. After 30 minutes, check the consistency; you want some liquid, but not so much that it’s soup-like. If too liquidy, cook with the lid off for another 15 minutes. If too dry, add a splash of broth.
  4. If desired, remove ham hock, shred meat, and return shredded meat to pot. Stir in pepperoncini brine and peppers and taste. Add more spices if desired. Serve over rice, being sure to spoon some of the cooking liquid over the top. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

Special thanks to Pearl Brown for her help in creating this recipe. Pearl is the grandmother of Mississippi Market’s communication specialist, Jamie Bernard. Pearl says:

“I always wanted my family to enjoy the meals my mother, father and sisters raised me on. I like to play with the spices my sisters would tell me to use — just to see if the way I prepared a dish was better than theirs. (I have to say, I came pretty close with some, but very seldom better.) Soul food can be prepared in so many ways. When I find a variation my family likes, I tend to stay with that version. These dishes always bring back memories of my family!”

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