EDITOR’S NOTE (January 1, 2021): Updated text. Be sure to check out my New Year’s Veggie Bowl.
Serve as a side dish or light meal with my Homemade Self-Rising Cornbread.
Hoppin’ John is the famous name of black-eyed, peas, rice and pork. This savory soul food is popular in the south.
I was concerned about the proper spelling. blackeyed peas or black-eyed peas? According to the Library of Congress and online dictionaries, black-eyed peas is correct. Good to know!
I like to use Smoked Pork “Ham” Hocks distributed by Royal Foods. This is a friendly mention. Not a paid endorsement. If pork is an issue, smoked turkey necks are a delicious alternative.
I like to add sliced tomatoes, chopped onions and chopped jalapenos to a bowl of black-eyed meal. Makes a hearty light meal with cornbread.
Black–eyed peas (Vigna unguiculata) are a variety of the cowpea and a member of the family of beans & peas (Leguminosae or Fabaceae in the USA).
Although called a pea, it is actually a bean. Both peas and beans are legumes, and both have edible seeds and pods.
Originally called mogette (French for nun), the black eye in the center of the bean (where it attaches to the pod) looked like nun’s head attire to many.
Source: Library of Congress
In the south, eating black-eyed peas and collard greens on New Year’s Day is believed to bring good fortune all year. The peas symbolize coins and the greens symbolize paper money.
Stove Top Cooking Tip
Black-eyed peas cook quickly. Watch closely to prevent over cooking which makes them mushy.
This recipe calls for black-eyed peas to be cooked in a dutch oven or heavy saucepan on top of the stove… not in a crock pot.
There are numerous recipes for cooking black-eyed peas in a crock pot. Never worked for me. Peas were always too mushy. So, I use the stove top. The peas cook quickly and are always good.
If you’ve had success with simmering black-eyed peas in a crock pot, please share your tips in the comments.
Helpful Tips For Beginners: How To Read & Follow Any Recipe
Reading a recipe is an important life skill. It starts with knowing how to read a recipe’s ingredients, follow the instructions, prep ingredients, and knowing what equipment to use.
The following tips and strategies will help beginners or experienced cooks create a delicious dish as intended in the recipe.
Start with clean hands and organized kitchen. Wash hands thoroughly. Make sure kitchen and countertops are clean before making a recipe.
Create a relaxing environment. Play favorite music while in the kitchen. I love listening to classical or gospel music.
Read the recipe. Don’t just quickly skim it. Thoroughly read from start to finish. Visualize doing each step which will help you avoid missing a step.
If you see ingredient that you and your family don’t use for whatever reason, use a substitutions or omit the ingredient.
My recipes are packed with helpful tips like shortcuts and serving sizes which save time and help with meal planning.
Pay attention to the order in which ingredients are prepped. For example, 1 cup of chopped pecans is not the same as pecans, chopped (measure whole pecans and then chop).
Know the assumptions. For example, when my recipe calls for “sugar,” use granulated sugar. If brown sugar is an ingredient, it will be written as such in the recipe.
Figure out the timing. Check the listed “prep time” and “total time” to be sure you have enough time to complete the recipe.
Look for hints, such as the words “meanwhile” or “at the same time,” which indicate two or more steps can happen simultaneously.
For example, my prep time doesn’t include bringing cold butter up to room temperature. Be sure to include in your timetable.
Watch Recipe Videos. If you’re a visual learner (like me), watch recipe videos. Perfect for when you’re learning a new skill or just want to see how a recipe is made.
Mise en place is a super time saver. This French cooking term translates as “putting in place.” It means prepping/measuring ingredients and chopping food before you start cooking. It’s the perfect way to get organized and avoid missing an ingredient or missing a step in the instructions.
Organize your tools and kitchen equipment. Mise en place isn’t just for ingredients. Before starting, make sure you have parchment paper, aluminum foil, measuring cups, measuring spoons, the right pans, mixing bowls, and other equipment.
Make notes in your recipe. Note any special prep instructions and highlight cooking times. Make note of ingredients omitted, favorite substitutions and creative twists. The notes will be very helpful the next time you make this recipe.