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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Hoppin' John

Any Meadowlark fans out there? Well, I love the Meadowlark restaurant. It's my favorite restaurant in any city, bar none. Even better that this gem happens to be in my own city.

I've attempted to knock off several Wiley creations, including an experiment creating my own ketchup, which was somewhat successful. But the Hoppin' John- a humble, black eyed pea stew- is my favorite item on the menu. I've made several variations of the stew, and I've even tried a much lauded Emeril Legasse recipe (which I found far too salty and served about 16!) Here is my variation, made in a slow cooker, so you can enjoy Hoppin' John any night of the week.


1 Orange or Yellow Bell Pepper, diced
1 medium Yellow Onion diced
2 celery stalks with tops finely diced
1 bunch of Carrots, diced
3 Garlic Cloves minced
1 Jalapeno pepper, cut in half lengthwise
1 1/2 cup Dry Black Eyed Peas
32 ounces low salt stock (I use homemade vegetable; chicken would be nice, too)
3 Bay Leaves
2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
1 Sprig Fresh Thyme
4-6 servings cooked rice of your choice
Sharp White Cheddar (I like Dubliner)
1 bunch Green Onions
1 bunch Collard greens, leaves stripped from stems
2-3 tablespoons White Vinegar (optional, but delicious)
Rinse the peas under cold water and pick out any stones or discolored peas. Bring the peas to boil in a medium saucepan full of cold water. Boil the peas for 10 minutes. As the beans cool, start chopping the vegetables. If you are planning to simmer the stew all day while at work, skip boiling the peas.

Combine peas, stock, diced yellow pepper, onion, carrots, garlic, jalepeno halves, stock and seasonings in a slow cooker.Cook for at least 4 hours on low.

About an hour before you are ready to serve, prepare the rice and collards. While the rice is cooking, cut the collard green leaves into strips and add them to the stew. Cook the stew for another 40-60 minutes.
Remove the bay leaves, thyme stems, and jalapeno halves. Spoon the stew over rice. Top with cheddar cheese, green onions, and a drizzle of white vinegar. Serve hot.

Read more at Food52.


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