Friday, December 28, 2012

Curried Hoppin' John with Pork and Bacon


 Hoppin' John is a Southern United States rice and beans dish.   The peas are symbolic of pennies or coins so it is thought to bring a prosperous year filled with luck.  I also added pork to this dish because pork is considered a symbol of wealth, prosperity and progress.  Then I decided to add bacon in the dish... well... because it's bacon and my family loves bacon.  The bacon also added a crunchy texture and great flavor punch.  This is a one pot dish that is perfect for New Years or any day of the year if you are looking for a satisfying meal.

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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  1. Who doesn't love bacon? I know I do.

  2. Oh man, that looks delicious! I want that entire bowl right now! :-D

  3. So tempting...Mouthwatering clicks!!!

  4. Thanks for the reminder that I need to get my ingredients ready for New Year's Day--loving your take on this classic seasonal dish.

  5. I need to start a New Year's tradition using some of these "lucky" ingredients! Your hopping John looks fantastic, Ramona!

  6. How fun does this all things curry :)
    Happy New Year!

  7. Well this is surely a first. Curried blackeyed peas are very creative.

  8. Hoppin' John has been gracing the tables of many Southern families since the 1800s, especially around the holidays. Anyone who consumes this ancient meal during the New Year is said to receive good fortune and tranquility. The concept is appealing, but the past does not support it. Hoppin' John Recipes have been found in cookbooks from the Low Country of South Carolina, a favorite locale for plantation owners, dating back to the 1840s. Make a substantial and tasty Hoppin' John meal in your instant pot, and the promise of good luck when eaten on New Year's Day is just a bonus.

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