HAPPY NEW YEAR! This recipe, which can also be called Hoppin' John, is our annual New Year tradition and it was adapted from a random recipe from About.com. For this recipe, 'adapted' is used loosely; the alterations on our end are very minute.
2 Medium Ham Hocks
6 Cups Water
1 Large Onion
1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
1/2 tsp Sugar
Pinch of Salt
Rinse and soak the peas overnight.
Place ham hocks in large kettle or Dutch oven with the water and bring to boil. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Chop the onion and drain the peas and add to the ham hock. Add enough water to cover the peas and stir in the crushed red pepper, sugar, and salt. Cover tightly and simmer for 2 hours or until peas are tender.
Remove the ham hock and shred the meat. [The meat and fat should fall right off the bone, so be careful when removing the ham hock from the kettle.] Dump the meat back into the pot and stir to combine.
Serve over hot cooked rice with cornbread.
We make sweet corn bread and basic white rice. I know some people that nix the rice and eat just the black eyed peas, while some mix in ketchup and mash the corn bread into the bowl. How do you prefer your black eyed peas? Or what different New Year's food traditions do you keep?