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Kate Heyhoe

Kate's Global Kitchen

 

Hoppin' John Salad

Serves 4 to 6

by Kate Heyhoe

 

This is my version of a Hoppin' John Salad, which diverges slightly from the more traditional recipes. But as with most traditional dishes, there are about as many variations as there are cooks. In this dish, I use frozen black-eyed peas because they taste fresher and cook faster than dried ones. I also first cook the rice with olive oil and cider vinegar to deepen these flavors, then I mix the warm rice with the seasoned cooking liquid from the black-eyed peas, boosting the overall flavor with more olive oil, vinegar and a spoonful of Dijon mustard. Finally, a mess of diced fresh peppers, celery and parsley are stirred in for a colorful, crunchy, and nutritious salad that would be as welcome in Manhattan as is it is in Manassas.

 

For Kate's Black-Eyed Peas:
1 ham hock
2 (14.5 ounce) cans low-sodium chicken broth (about 3-2/3 cup)
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1 bay leaf
Dash red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 (1-pound) package frozen black-eyed peas

 

Place all ingredients except black-eyed peas in a medium (approx. 3 quart) saucepan. Partially cover. Bring to boil over high heat, then reduce heat and let mixture simmer 20 minutes for flavors to blend. Add black-eyed peas. Bring mixture back to a boil on high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until peas are tender, about 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Makes about 3-1/2 cups black-eyed peas, and 1-1/2 cups broth (also known as the "pot likker.")

 

For Hoppin' John Salad:

1 recipe cooked Kate's Black-Eyed Peas, with peas and broth
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 cups freshly cooked, warm long-grain rice (see Rice Flavoring Note)
1/2 green bell pepper, in small dice (1/2 to 2/3 cup)
1/2 red bell pepper, in small dice (1/2 to 2/3 cup)
1/3 cup red onion, in small dice
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley (preferably Italian parsley)
2 green onions, chopped (using white and green parts)
1 stalk celery with leaves, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
(Serve on the side: Louisiana hot red pepper sauce or Tabasco)

 

Prepare the recipe for Kate's Black-Eyed Peas. Remove the cooked peas from the pot with a slotted spoon to a large mixing bowl. Measure and leave 3/4 cup of the broth in the pot, reserving any remaining broth for another use (such as soup or gravy).

Heat the broth with the olive oil, cider vinegar and mustard until hot, whisking as needed to blend in the mustard. Add the warm rice to the peas in the mixing bowl. Stir the hot liquid into the rice and black-eyed peas. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Let rest at least 1 hour for flavors to blend. Serve at room temperature with hot red pepper sauce on the side.

 

Note:
This salad can be made that morning and served that day, or make it the day before and refrigerate overnight. Let come to room temperature before serving, so the flavors are more pronounced, and check the seasonings before serving (you may need more salt or vinegar).

Rice Flavoring Note:
To enhance the depth of flavor in a rice salad, add olive oil and vinegar to the rice liquid before cooking. For this recipe, rinse 1 cup long-grain rice (preferably Basmati rice) until the water runs clear. Combine rice in a heavy saucepan with 1-3/4 to 2 cups water along with 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil and 2 tablespoons cider vinegar. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until the liquid is completely absorbed and deep holes appear in the surface, about 15 minutes (time may vary). Turn off the heat. Stir the rice with a chopstick or fork handle to loosen the grains, then cover and let rest at least 10 minutes to steam. Rice will stay warm about 30 minutes.

 

Kate's Global Kitchen for January, 2000:

 
Copyright © 2000, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.

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