Hello, hello, friends! It’s the morning after Christmas, and I hope that you all had a wonderful holiday! I am digging out from under the piles of gifts, wrapping paper, and decorations in an attempt to bring some semblance of order to this crazy house! And while we are all still recovering from an exciting and exhausting day of celebrating, I can’t help but jump ahead to our next special holiday meal: New Year’s Day. As with every year in the past, I will be following my Mom’s example and serving a good Southerner’s Lucky New Year’s dinner — complete with pork, greens, and Aunt Bee’s Hoppin’ John!
Black-eyed peas are a must on New Year’s Day, right? No matter what we had going on, where we were, or who else was around our table, my Mom always served black-eyed peas with our first dinner of the New Year…along with the other usual suspects of pork, greens, cornbread, and often sauerkraut. Southern superstition tells us that black-eyed peas bring prosperity in the New Year, so who am I to argue with tradition?!
As she was sending me some of her recipes earlier this year, Aunt Bee was adamant that I share a recipe for Hoppin’ John on the blog at this time of year. She firmly believes in the black-eyed pea notion and we wouldn’t want any of you to miss out!
Best of all, this recipe is incredibly quick and delicious! You only need 5 minutes to prepare Aunt Bee’s Lucky Hoppin’ John — an easy side dish that’s perfect for New Year’s Day! The rice is studded with black-eyed peas, loaded with bacon, and flavored with garlic and onion. It’s a simple recipe that pairs perfectly with the rest of your lucky Southern fare, making it a tasty way to move from an exhausting Christmas season and into a prosperous and healthy New Year!
- 1 (15.8 ounce) can (about 1 ¾ cups) black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
- 8 ounces bacon (about 8 strips), cooked and diced
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (add more for a spicier dish, or omit for a mild dish)
- ½ cup finely-diced onion
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 4 teaspoons minced garlic
- 3 cups cooked rice (I used brown rice, but white rice works fine too!)
- Garnish with fresh parsley; minced bell pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 1 ½ - 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray.
- Add all of the ingredients to the prepared dish and stir until completely combined.
- Cover and bake for about 30 minutes, or until heated through. Garnish with fresh parsley and minced bell pepper; serve.