More About This Recipe
Let me start this post by saying straight up that I'm not from the South.
It's important to note this because every year for New Year's I make Hoppin' John, a very Southern dish. If you're not familiar with it, it's a stew with black-eyed peas (for good luck!), ham, and veggies. It's absolutely fantastic on a cold winter day.
If you are familiar with it, you might think my version is crazy. Maybe I should've called it Hoppin' Jim just to avoid conflict.
For example, in my version I used kale instead of the standard collard greens.
Some of you may have just spit coffee on your keyboard.
I apologize if that offends you, but they have a very similar flavor and texture except kale cooks a bit quicker. That’s a win in my book.
I also serve my Hoppin' John over rice instead of with cornbread. This might be the straw that broke the camel’s back for some of you, but I prefer it with rice so that's how I make it.
The real backbone of this dish is black-eyed peas and ham. Normally, I use a ham hock for this, but I wasn't able to find a good one so I used some really good ham that I cubed up instead.
I'd recommend using a ham hock if you can find one, but either way definitely works.
I like to use kale because it only needs about 10 minutes to cook. If you do use collard greens it'll take 30-45 minutes for the greens to get nice and tender so you'll want to add them earlier.
Either way you do it, kale or collard, ham hock or cubed ham, have no fear--you're going to end up with a really delicious final product.
If you want to try this recipe out, try not to stress too much about the specifics. At the end of the day, it's pretty flexible, so just relax, put the soup pot on, and get ready for the new year!