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    Black-Eyed Peas and Rice

    Source of Recipe

    From "Jubilee" by Toni Tipton-Martin

    Recipe Introduction

    "Watch Night Service is a gathering of the faithful to bring the New Year in with spirituals, prayers, and testimony. The celebration began on 'Freedom's Eve,' December 31, 1862, when the enslaved gathered in churches to await the news that the Emancipation Proclamation had set them free. With the news came shouts of jubilation and gratitude; today the service includes reflection, praise, and worship to God for His provision and protection. Folklore in the Penn School & Sea Islands Heritage Cookbook described the Carolina Lowcountry tradition this way: 'Early on New Year's Eve, the pots begin to cook, as the meal for New Year's day must be done by Midnight. The menu for New Year's day is a simple one: Hoppin' John, collard greens with hog jowls, and ribs for a side dish. Hoppin' John, or brown field peas cooked with rice, is eaten for good luck throughout the year. The collard greens represent dollar bills. It is said the more one eats, the more luck and money one will have.' This adaptation of Hoppin' John appeared in Aunt Julia's Cook Book, a collection of Atlantic Coast recipes published in the 1930s by the Standard Oil Company."

    List of Ingredients

    ◦ ¾ pound salt pork or bacon, cut into ¼-inch dice
    ◦ 1 cup chopped onion
    ◦ 2 large cloves garlic, minced
    ◦ 8 cups chicken stock
    ◦ 1 pound dried black-eyed peas, picked over for stones, rinsed, soaked in water overnight, and drained
    ◦ ½ cup diced (¼-inch) ham
    ◦ 1 teaspoon salt
    ◦ ¼ teaspoon black pepper
    ◦ ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    ◦ 1 cup long-grain rice


    In a large saucepan, sauté the salt pork over medium-high heat until crisp and the fat is rendered.

    Add the onion and garlic and cook until just translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in the chicken stock, soaked peas, ham, salt, black pepper, and pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer over medium-low heat until tender, about 1 hour.

    Taste and season with more salt as desired. Stir in the rice. Cover and return the pot to a simmer over high heat. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, cover, and cook until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork before serving.

    Serves 8




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