Saturday, January 1, 2011

Hoppin' John!

You know, I'm not really southern but they sure do have a lot of tasty food down there.  While we were in Dallas for Christmas Susan made a delicious black-eyed pea stew and it got me thinking.  I knew that black-eyed peas were traditionally eaten on New Year's Day for good luck-- I had my first stew after a New Year's 5K in Austin-- but I'd never cooked any!  I thought I remembered seeing a recipe in The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook, and sure enough, I did.

So today I am making Saigon Hoppin' John (with a few alterations)
Rinse 1 cup of dried black eyed peas thoroughly, then put them in a large bowl and cover them with water.  Let soak for 4 hours (!)<---They're still soaking as I write this

bring 6 cups of Vegetable Broth to a boil and add the drained peas.  Reduce heat to Med. High and boil until peas are tender (about 25 minutes)

Add 1 cup uncooked long-grain rice, 1tsp ground ginger, one bruised (?) stalk of lemongrass (we didn't have any at our grocery store, so I skipped this part...) 1 cup of unsweetened coconut milk (um, again, none at the grocery store, but we did have coconut "juice" so I got that-- is this going to be a disaster?  stay tuned.), 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp sugar and return all of this to a boil.

Reduce to low and simmer until porridge-y (20 minutes)

Stir in 1/4 cup chopped cilantro  and salt and pepper to taste.
This is where you'd also add lemongrass to each bowl when serving too (if you had lemongrass at your grocery store.)

Have I set myself up for New Year Disaster? I am quite distinctly *not* following the recipe in that I don't have Lemongrass and I'm using unsweetened coconut *juice* and not unsweetened coconut *milk.* Only time (5 hours) will tell.  But I'm thinking tis better to have attempted my first black-eyed pea new year than to have just given up due to lack of exotic ingredients :)
I'll let you know how it turns out!

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