Hoppin' John: A Good Luck Recipe from Listeners

In much of the American South, eating black-eyed peas is thought to bring a year filled with luck. So as not to leave you luckless in the upcoming year, here's a recipe from listeners Karen Rhodes and Robert Weiner, who host a New Year's party each year and prepare this dish.

Hoppin' John

* 1 pound dried black-eyed peas

* 2 ham hocks, smoked

* 2 medium onions

* 3 cloves garlic, large

* 2 bay leaves

* 1 cup converted long-grain white rice

* 10 ounces diced tomatoes with chilies, juices reserved

* 1 large red bell pepper, finely diced

* 3 ribs celery, diced

* 1 jalapeno or serrano pepper, minced

* 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning

* 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

* 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin

* 3/4 teaspoon salt

* 3 scallions, sliced

* hot red pepper sauce

Directions: In a large pot, combine the black-eyed peas, ham hocks and 6 cups water. Cut 1 onion in half and add it to the pot, along with the garlic and bay

leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently

until the beans are tender but not mushy, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Remove the

hocks, cut off the meat in large shreds and set the meat aside. Drain the

peas and set aside. Remove and discard the bay leaves, onion and garlic. Add

2 1/2 cups of water to the pot and bring to a boil. Add the rice, cover and

simmer until the rice is almost tender, 12 minutes. Mince the remaining

onion. Add to the rice along with the peas, tomatoes and their juices, bell

pepper, celery, jalapeno pepper, Creole seasoning, thyme, cumin and salt.

Cook until the rice is tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the sliced scallions

and meat from the ham hocks. Serve with hot sauce on the side.

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