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New Year’s Day Spicy Southern Black-Eyed Peas

Spicy Southern Black-Eyed Peas

Use salt pork or hog jowl in this delicious traditional New Year’s Day dish, also known as Hoppin’ John. Black-eyed peas, along with greens and cornbread, are eaten on New Year’s Day for good luck throughout the year.

1 pound dried black-eyed peas
4 ounces salt pork, rind removed, diced
1 cup chopped onion
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
1 to 2 cups diced cooked ham
2 ribs celery, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced, optional
1/2 green bell pepper, diced, optional
1 tablespoon Creole or Cajun seasoning mixture
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon pepper
ground hot pepper, optional, to taste


Following package directions, soak the black-eyed peas overnight or cover with water, boil for 2 minutes, then let stand for 1 hour. Drain.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, sauté the diced salt pork with onion until onion is browned.

Combine salt pork and onions with the drained peas and remaining ingredients; Add water just to cover. Simmer for about 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until tender, checking and adding a little more water if necessary. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Serve with hot boiled rice, spinach or other greens, and freshly baked skillet cornbread.


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