Blackeyed peas made everyday!
This blackeyed pea recipe aka Hoppin’ John remixed is in honor of one of my favorite all-time actors, the late Bernie Casey who died this week. Brother Casey was a gifted athlete, writer, actor, and painter making him a true renaissance man or as we say in the hood – a “Jack of Spades”. I’m too young to have witnessed any of his NFL career but I remember him as one of the few athletes my grandfather ever talked about.
I think Pops was impressed with his activism and intelligence. He had roles in several iconic films including “Cornbread, Earl, and Me”, “Cleopatra Jones”, “Revenge of the Nerds”, “Never Say Goodbye” and “Brothers” but most remember him as John Slade in “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka” where he had that great line – “You two big motherfuckers in here cookin’ red beans and grits – you call that business?” I didn’t have any red beans or grits on hand, but I did have blackeyed peas and cauliflower rice.
Cauliflower is a great low carb alternative to rice, so if you want to keep the calories down in this recipe feel free to use cauliflower rice instead. Not only is it lower in carbs, but it requires far less cooking time.The other twist on this recipe to make it more everyday, i.e. low cholesterol, heart smart, etc. I eliminated pork which is traditionally used. In it’s place I used smokey dried chiles to infuse the stock used to cook the blackeyed peas. I used a vegan version my homemade stock (eliminated the chicken), but feel free to use a store bought stock and doctor it with the chiles and bay leaves. So if you don’t want to wait to enjoy some Hoppin John for New Years, try this everyday version.
Great beats, better eats. Enjoy!
Plant-based Blackeyed Peas and Rice aka Hoppin' John
- 1 pound dried black-eyed peas fresh can be substituted
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 large onion small diced
- 4 garlic cloves sliced
- 2 medium carrots peeled and diced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon smoked sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 4 cups stock vegetable
- 4 smokey morita chiles
- 2 cups water
- 3 bay leaves
- Green onions for garnish
If using dried black-eyed peas, put them in a large pot and cover with about 4 inches of water. Soak the peas overnight, then drain the water and rinse. If you’re pressed for time, boil the peas for 2-3 minutes, remove pot from heat and let soak for an hour.
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic to the pot and cook, stirring, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and saute for an additional 3 minutes.
Add the spices and cook until the entire mixture is coated with the spices, about 2 minutes.
Pour in the stock and water and drop in the bay leaves and chiles. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes. Remove the chiles after about 15 minutes of simmering as you don’t want them to break down so much that the seeds end up in the pot and making this very spicy hot.
Add the prepared peas to the pot and simmer until the peas are very soft, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Taste for seasonings, and add more if desired. Discard the bay leaves and transfer the black-eyed peas to a serving bowl. Garnish with green onions.Serve with rice or cauliflower rice.