Friday, August 26, 2011

Curried Hoppin' John with Pork and Bacon

I love rice and curry, but what I don't like is the multiple dishes.  You need to cook at least 2-4 dishes to accompany the rice and make it a real meal.  That means many pots/pans and lots of cleaning up to do.  Sometimes a one-pot dish is just what is in order.  This curried "Hoppin' John" is just that.  It pretty much comes together in one pot (with the exception of the rice).  This is also a great way to use up leftover rice.  I added a lot of lovely blacked eyed peas, pork and BACON!  The crumbled bacon bits are little little jewels in this dish.  I created this dish on the cuff and I was very happy on how easy and good it was.   It's spicy, filling, full of protein and flavor.  This one is definitely a home run.

Note:  Hoppin' John is a Southern United States rice and beans dish that originated from West Africa. 

5 cups of cooked rice (brown or white)
2 (15oz) cans of black eyed peas rinsed
1lb of lean pork diced small
6-8 slices of bacon diced
15-20 curry leaves
1 small stick of cinnamon

1 tsp of cumin seeds
1tsp of black mustard seeds
1/3 tsp of ground turmeric
2 tsp of curry powder (I used McCormick brand)
2 cloves of garlic grated
1 inch of ginger grated
1 medium onion chopped
2 celery stalks diced small
1 bunch of scallions sliced
2-3 green chilies
1 tsp of red chili flakes (or to taste)
1 1/2 cups of chicken stock (or chicken bullion and water)
salt and pepper to taste

Note:  Before cooking the "Hoppin' John Curry make sure you have 5 cups of cooked rice ready to go.  Rice that is already cool gives the best results. 

In a large pot/pan render out the diced bacon.  When the bacon gets crispy (but not burned) you can drain on a paper towel and reserve until later.  You can get discard the oil and use canola oil or you can use 2 Tbs of the bacon fat to cook the vegetables and pork that comes next. 

I decided to go for the bacon fat this time around.  It gave a lot of flavor.

In the same pan add your curry leaves, bay leaves,  cumin seeds, mustard seeds and cinnamon stick.  Fry for 30-45 seconds until the seeds start to splutter.

Next add your diced pork, onions, celery, chilies and scallions.  Cook for 2-3 minutes.  Then add your grated ginger and garlic.  Cook for another 1-2 minutes.

** salt to season your pork and vegetables here, but remember you will be adding chicken stock/bullion and bacon later so salt conservatively.

Now add your ground spices: curry powder, chili flakes and turmeric.  Allow the spices to bloom for 1-2 minutes.   Then add your chicken stock or water and chicken bullion powder.

Next add your cans of drained and rinsed black eyed peas.  Simmer the dish on medium for 10-12 minutes. 

Once the curry is made and seasoned to your desired taste, add the cooked rice. Mix the rice into the curry gently.

Top with the crumbled bacon and serve.  Serves 4-6 people.  This dish goes very well with a raita yogurt salad.  Here is a link to one of my raita salads:  Cucumber and Carrot Raita.    Enjoy.

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