Hoppin' John

This is not true hoppin' John. One, it has neither bacon nor sausage. Two, it has a host of other ingredients that have no business in authentic hoppin' John, but which I add to make it appeal to the shorter people who live in this house. Still it makes a great side dish or even a main course if you are in a vegetarian state of mind. I served it over rice tonight, along with roasted broccoli and brown-sugar glazed salmon. Along with my apologies and all due respect to the authorities on southern cooking. Think of it as a lighter, keener hoppin' John. Skippin' John. You might even call it Dancin' John, although I don't know if he'd appreciate that.

Hoppin' John

  • 1 can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn 
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander

Heat olive oil and a pat of butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute 3-4 minutes. Add garlic, celery, carrot, and red pepper. Saute another 5 minutes. Add cumin, coriander and a pinch of red pepper flakes (optional). Add black-eyed peas and corn, stir to combine. Lower heat, cover, and cook another ten minutes. Before serving, add some chopped scallions and chopped parsley. Serve over white rice.

Good Luck Salad

I couldn't think of anything for dinner tonight. I felt like I had to come up with something spectacular for the sake of the blog, but since this is a blog about real life, then those nights when I can't think of damn thing for dinner get included. Even take-out will be included. So there.

By the way, when do you decide what to make? Sometimes I have an idea in my head all day. Sometimes I don't get inspired until 5:00. Other times, like tonight, I got nothing. In which case there is nothing to do but surrender gracefully:

No shame in frozen pizza. And by the way, have you tried Trader Joe's Tarte d'Alsace? Actually, correction, it's not a Trader Joe's branded product, but they sell it there. It's made by Maitre Pierre but it is delicious—flatbread with gruyere cheese, ham and caramelized onions. Pandagirl will eat a whole one herself. So will I.

And speaking of Panda, she came up with the idea of making Good Luck Salad tonight, so we will be joined by my lovely sous-chef.  In her lovely panda hat.

My delicious friend Claudia taught me about Good Luck Salad, which is traditional New Year's fare in the south. We're pretty addicted to it up North here and eat it at any given opportunity, which is why my pantry is always stocked with black-eyed peas and hominy.

Good Luck Salad

Mix all. Serve. Die.

And voila, an excellent accompaniment to your frozen pizza on a night such as tonight, and a perfect dish for your aspiring young cook to put together.