New Year's Recipe: Black-Eyed Pea Stew, or Hoppin' John

This dish is said to bring good luck in the coming year.

Hoppin' John is a black-eyed pea dish. The peas symbolize coins. A shiny dime, thrown into this black-eyed pea and rice dish, is said to bring good luck to the person who finds the dime in his serving. Of course, if the recipient bites down on the dime, then the good luck only comes to his dentist.

I like the following crock pot black-eyed pea recipe because it's made in the crock-pot and can be started the night before. If, for some reason, it seems hard to get out of bed on New Year's day, you'll have at least one thing already going for you.

Hoppin' John

• 2 cups dried black-eyed peas (sorted, rinsed and drained).

• 4-5 cups chicken broth or water

• 2 bay leaves 

• 1 ham hock or ham bone

• 1 large onion, chopped 

• ½ cup celery

• 3 cloves chopped garlic

• salt and pepper, to taste

• cooked rice

The evening before, place washed beans and broth into crock-pot, turn on low. The next morning, whenever that starts for you, brown onions and celery in a little olive oil. Add all ingredients except rice to the crock-pot. Add more liquid if necessary. You want the dish to be a little mushy but not like soup. Turn crock-pot on High for 2-3 hours, and then down to low until you're ready to serve. Serve over prepared rice.

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