Hopping John

Let me begin by citing a cook book I have that is crumbling: at least I'll preserve a page digitally!

BLACK-EYED PEAS
Black-eyed peas are esteemed in the South as an appetizing basic dish (traditionally served on New Year's Day for good luck). When possible they are boiled fresh with pork, but are very good in the dried state
From black-eyed peas combined with rice comes the famous “Hopping John” (called “Hopping Jack” in some sections), a type of Jambalaya, said to be of Spanish origin. (Jambalaya consists of many combinations of rice and meats or vegetables, or both.) Cowpeas often substitute for the black-eyed peas. This combination is known to the Creoles as Jamba-laya au Congri.
“Hopping John” is made several different ways. The most common is to boil the peas with pork until tender. Steam rice separately until dry, then add rice to the peas and let simmer until the consistency is of flaky moistness. Many add tomatoes, green peppers, and onions to the peas and serve over dry rice.
The Southern Cook Book, Marion Brown, Pocket Books , year unknown (copy aged and damaged)

I've several recipes for “Hopping John” from various sources. As the text above acknowledges, they vary in composition and in method, having black-eyed peas and rice (and salt pork) as their points in common. I also like to make tables to summarize and compare/contrast recipes, so here's one more, calculated by scaling to have equal amounts of the peas (after soaking if dried peas are called for), with some uncertainty for recipe B. The peas:pork ratio varies quite a lot, and one can wonder at what threshold this stops being a recipe for peas with a little pork for flavor.

Ingredients A B 1) B' C D
fresh blackeyed or cow peas 1 pt (or 1 lb.) 2 C 2)
dried blackeyed peas 1 C 1 cups (1/2 pound) 1 cup dried, before soaking
good salt pork meat 1/4 lb. 3) 1 lb.4) 1/2 lb. 1/2 pound, rind removed, cut into strips about 2 inches long and \frac{1}{2} inch wide -0-
walnut 5) oil 1 tablespoon
cold water equal to bulk of peas 2 qt. 6) 1 qt. 7) 3 cups to cover, and then some
onion 1, optional \frac{1}{2} cup, finely chopped \frac{1}{2} cup chopped
bell pepper \frac{1}{2} cup chopped
celery stalks \frac{1}{2} cup chopped
hot red pepper 2 slices 1 slice
salt, pepper to taste to taste to taste
raw rice 1 cup, boiled separately 2 cups 8) 1 cup 1 \frac{1}{4} cups 9) 1 cup
pea:pork ratio 4:1 1:1 2:1 1:1 10) n/a
Method A B B' C D
Cook peas Boil together the meat (sliced or diced) and the peas in enough water to double the bulk in deep vessel, until peas are tender. Leave some of the liquid from the peas in the pan. (An onion may be cooked with the peas, whole or chopped). Wash bacon or salt pork. Put in a Dutch oven or heavy metal pot with a tight-fitting lid. Put all ingredients in pot , cover the pot and let come to a boil, then reduce heat and let peas simmer until tender–this takes about 1\frac{1}{2} hours or longer.
Add salt to taste 11)
Thoroughly wash the peas, then place them in a 3- to 4-qt casserole 12), add 6 cups of cold water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Then lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes. Cook chopped vegetables in oil on low to medium until soft but not browned…directly in the large vessel which will be used to cook the peas.
Add the peas, which have been soaked overnight after a thorough washing and picking-over. Cook about 90 minutes.
Make crispy bacon bits Meanwhile, parboil the salt pork strips very briefly, drain the strips and pat dry with paper towels. Sauté them until brown and crisp and they have rendered all their fat; transfer to paper towels to drain, and set aside.
cook onions
to add after
the peas have cooked?
Add the chopped onions to the fat remaining in the skillet and cook 13) until the onions are soft but not yet browned. Remove from heat and set aside.
Cook rice In a separate vessel, boil the rice until dry and flaky and each grain stands apart (see rice recipes). Add rice and cook until it too is tender–about 30 minutes. If liquid evaporates add more from time to time. After the peas have cooked their allotted time, stir in the salt pork 14), onions and the rice 15) and brink (sic) back to a boil. Cover the casserole tightly, reduce the heat to low, and simmer 20 to 30 minutes, or until the peas are tender and the rice is fluffy. Either cook the rice separately, so each can choose her proportion of peas-to-rice, or add the rice to the peas after the peas are cooked, and cook on low, tightly covered, about half an hour, checking it doesn't scorch and adding liquid occasionally, until liquid is absorbed and all is fluffy.
Finishing touches When both are done, add rice to the peas and add:
1 tablespoon butter
1/16 teaspoon red pepper
salt and pepper to taste.
Let simmer on stove, until flavors blend, about 10 minutes. The liquid should all be absorbed but not dry.Serve hot.
Put rice and peas in a serving dish and place the bacon on top of them. Taste for seasoning and serve at once. Peel, seed and finely chop some fresh tomatoes to serve as a topping. Serve.
Mrs. Charles Mason Crowson, Columbia, S. C. Marion Flexner, Out of Kentucky Kitchens Citation needed Me
1) doubled, supposing the recipe really was for fresh peas
2)If dried peas are used, soak overnight before cooking.” Does that mean the recipe is intended for 1 cup of fresh, or about 1/2 cup of dried? I've presumed so, and doubled everything.
3) “streak of lean, streak of fat”
4) bacon or salt pork
5) or other vegetable
6) , 7) or more if needed
8) so different from the other recipes that I doubt the intention was fresh peas.
9) uncooked white rice, not the converted variety
10) or 3:1 if the pork renders a lot of fat that isn't added to the mixture.
11) or withdraw salt?
12) I prefer vessel
13) over moderate heat for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently,
14) which we carefully cooked until crispy
15) and what happens to all the rendered fat?

 
recipes/hopping_john.txt · Dernière modification: 2010/01/01 22:58 par suitable