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Sweet and Sour Hoppin’ John

Posted December 01, 2017 in Recipes

Here is an updated and very lucky recipe for New Year’s Day. Traditionally, Hoppin’ John is eaten in the southern U.S. on New Year’s Day. The dish has rice, bacon and black-eyed peas. I have always felt that the dish is bland and unattractive, so I came up with this version. I added lentils, which are also considered lucky; the legumes have the appearance of coins. Sliced brats replace the bacon with a better texture and burst of flavor. The toppings add the sweet and sour character to the dish and a cheerful color.

1 cup black-eyed peas, soaked

1 cup jasmine rice, rinsed

1 cup brown or green lentils

4 cups chicken broth

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

5-6 bratwursts, sliced into half-inch slices and browned

Place the above ingredients in a stock pot on low heat and simmer for about one hour or until the peas and rice are tender. While the Hoppin’ John is cooking, prepare the two toppings.
Sweet and sour cabbage topping

1/4 red cabbage shredded

1 Granny Smith apple, shredded

1/3 cup water

1/3 cup white vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

In a saucepan, place the cabbage, apple, water and vinegar. Sprinkle with sugar. Cook over medium heat until the cabbage is tender. Drain the liquid into the Hoppin’ John and reserve the solids for garnish.

Fried onion topping

3 medium yellow onions, sliced

2 tablespoons oil

Salt and pepper to taste

In a saute pan, bring the oil to high heat and add the onions. Fry them until they are caramelized and medium brown.

To serve, put the Hoppin’ John in a casserole dish. Place the red cabbage in the middle and the fried onions around the perimeter.

You could make this in a crock pot, but the texture will be much creamier, which I don’t enjoy. If you do decide to use the crock pot, put the peas, lentils, rice and broth together with the browned brat slices on low heat to cook until the peas are tender. ♦

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