Sunday, January 22, 2017

Pioneer Woman: Hoppin' John, Loaded Corn Bread, & Collard Greens

The Pioneer Woman Cooks
A Year of Holidays Cook Book

Recipe-a-month Cooking Challenge [1/12]

January 2017
Happy New Year!!

Every New Year, I hear about everyone cooking up black-eyed peas (which supposedly brings you good luck!), and I just think "yuck". While Peter and I can eat pretty much anything, I usually have to pass on black-eyed peas. I actually did cook up a pot-full a few years ago, but for me, they were just a huge miss! Peter mentioned a dish using black-eyed peas that he had tried and it sounded intriguing. It's called Hoppin' John, and it has all the ingredients in it that I love - peppers, ham, garlic, lots of great stuff that should make for a pretty tasty dish. Surprisingly, when I started my Pioneer Woman recipe-a-month challenge, there it was, the first recipe I turned to, her recipe for Hoppin' John! Of course, I picked that to try this month, along with her recipes for Loaded Corn Bread, and Collard Greens. :O)

(I'll post her recipe with my variations noted).


4 cups dried black-eyed peas (I used a 1 lb. pkg.)
4 T. butter
4 cloves garlic - minced
1 large onion - diced
1 green, 1 yellow, 1 red bell pepper - seeded & diced
2 stalks celery - diced
salt & pepper to taste
1 tsp. cayenne pepper (I used a dash of red pepper flakes)
5 cups chicken broth
2 cups diced ham or ham hock
2 T. white vinegar

Cooking Instructions {HERE}


1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup buttermilk (I just do the 1 cup milk + 1 T vinegar)
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 cup shortening - melted then slightly cooled
2 T. butter
1 yellow, 1 red, 1 green bell pepper (I used baby bell) - diced
3 cloves garlic - minced

-- cast iron skillet

Cooking Instructions: Add cornmeal to large bowl along with flour, salt, powder, and soda. Whisk together. In a separate bowl combine buttermilk, milk, egg, whisk until smooth. Pour this into dry mixture and whisk. Whisk in shortening, set aside. In skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add peppers and garlic. Cook 3-4 minutes. With veggies in a single layer in bottom of skillet, pour batter on top, smooth out evenly. Bake 20 minutes at 425  degrees or until golden brown. Cut into wedges and serve with Hoppin' John & Collards!


2 bunches collards or kale -rinsed well, stems removed
6 slices bacon - cut into pieces
2 cloves garlic - minced
2 T. apple cider vinegar
salt & pepper to taste

Heat pan to medium-high and cook bacon until half way done. Add garlic, stirring for a minute. Add greens, tossing until almost wilted. Add vinegar, toss. Season with salt & pepper. 

My review: I had only ever tried black-eyed peas once in my life, and obviously I cooked them all wrong, because they not only looked yucky, but tasted yucky as well. I was very anxious to try this recipe since I normally love all bean/pea soups and I really love corn bread and collard greens. I also wanted to do the yearly New Year's tradition of eating them for "good luck"! :O) Ree even added in her notes about this tradition that, she always heard if you leave 3 black-eyed peas on your plate after a feast of Hoppin' John, that you'll enjoy even more love, happiness, prosperity, and luck than you would from simply eating black-eyed peas in the first place....but seriously, who comes up with this stuff? And am I really superstitious??? Anyhow, rave reviews for this dish from me, Mom, and Dad - who I invited down for dinner to taste test too. The flavors just blended together so nicely, the peas with chunks of ham, the greens with that hint of vinegar, and the (unsweet) cornbread loaded with bell peppers -YUM!! I will most definitely be adding Hoppin' John as my New Year's feast next year! 

Just when I thought I couldn't learn to love anything else...I do\id!! :O)

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