I wanted to cook a tradition meal for my day after New Year's day party and apparently "Hoppin John" is a New Year's Southern tradition. I wasn't happy with any of the recipes I read, so this one I made up of a combination of 8 or so different ones and the consensus was that it came out great.
A little background, Hoppin John served the day after New Year's is called Skippin Jenny (there was no good reference for why either name). Some lore: eating Hoppin’ John on New Years day is thought to bring prosperity for the New Year, if you leave coins under the plate or put one into the pot whoever gets it has prosperity for the New Year, the peas represent pennies and symbolize prosperity, kale is the color of money and brings prosperity, rice brings longevity, leave 3 peas on your plate for good luck, romance and prosperity in the coming year. (The South is big on prosperity I guess!)
1 red pepper diced
1 green pepper diced
1 large onion diced
4 ribs celery sliced thin
2 C carrots or so
4 tsp. minced canned jalapeno peppers (more to taste)
Oil to sauté in
2 lbs sausage
2 C left over ham or use a ham steak
3 tsp. minced garlic
1 scant tsp. sage
1 scant tsp. thyme
3 tsp. chili pepper
1 bay leaf
1 can corn, drained
1 can chicken broth, or as needed
3 cans black eyed peas rinsed and drained
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Tabasco sauce to taste
Sauté red pepper, green pepper, onion, spicy peppers, celery, carrots in oil until softened. Add sausage cut in half and then in bit sized chunks and ham. Continue to sauté until sausage begins to brown. Add garlic, sage, thyme, chili pepper, 1 bay leaf. Continue to sauté. Add corn, 2 cans black eyed peas, one can smashed up black eyed peas, and chicken broth as needed for preferred “soupyness”. Bring to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes or longer. I had mine bubbling away on the stove for several hours and the house smelled fantastic! Remove bay leaf. Salt and pepper as needed.
Serve over rice with Tabasco sauce to taste with cornbread and kale. This makes a big pot full (I fed 8 adults dinner and had leftovers) and it tastes great the next day. You should be able to freeze leftovers.
Creamy Corn Bread
2 pkgs. "JIFFY" Corn Muffin Mix
1 can (12 oz.) cream style corn
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 375 and grease the muffin tin. Mix all ingredients together. Pour into prepared muffin pans, filling about 1/2 full. Bake 22-28 minutes. Let cool before removing from pan. Makes 18 muffins.