Hoppin' John is a traditional southern rice and beans dish that originates from the slaves of America's colonial era. It usually consists of black-eyed peas, ham hocks, onions, peppers, and rice. It's such a simple dish but so very satisfying. I love old school southern food. The south is one of the few regions in the states that has produced it's own unique cuisine that can truly be called American food. Some of the best dishes always seem to come from the roughest of times. Perhaps simplicity is the key. Beans and rice can be found in pretty much every culture. It's filling, hearty, and sometimes full of history.
2 cup dried black-eyed peas, rinsed
8 cups water
1 green pepper, diced (I sometimes use hot peppers)
1 smoked ham hock
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cup long-grain white rice
kosher salt and fresh black pepper
Place the black-eyed peas and water in a saucepan and discard any floaters. Gently boil the peas with the peppers, ham hock, and onion, uncovered, until tender about 1 1/2 hours. Don't let them get mushy. Season with salt and pepper. There should be about 2 to 3 cups of water left in the pot. If not add more water. Add the rice to the pot, cover, and simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it sit covered for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork, readjust seasoning, and serve.