New Year, New Hoppin John

Ahoy Foodies!

It’s a new year, and I’ve started it out by getting bronchitis and pneumonia. Woot! I can’t taste a thing, which is a good thing when taking copious amounts of cough medicine. (They make that stuff as disgusting-tasting as humanely possible, me thinks.) But, when your WHOLE life revolves around cooking and food, not being able to taste is a nightmare. It’s brought me face to face with the fact that I am the most one dimensional person that has ever walked the earth. If a conversation, activity, or subject is not about food, I’m generally not interested. (With the exception, of course, of the history of the aristocracy from about 1413-1800. I’m reading The Duchess of Devonshire right now. LOVE IT.)

I digress. Just as the clever grasshopper put away food for the winter, I have squirreled away a few recipes and photos to share with you, just in case something, like, oh, say, I CANT COOK BECAUSE I CANT TASTE, should happen. So this week, I give you an homage to Southern cooking: Hoppin’ John. I posted a similar recipe here a year ago, but this recipe is easier, as in one skillet easy, and serves both Mr. Tofu and sausage-loving diners.

I like to use some mustardy-pungent kielbasa-style handmade sausages from Old Country Sausage Company (10634 NE Sandy Blvd., 503/254-4106, Portland), though honestly what with the beans, the buttery greens, and the rice, you don’t REALLY need the sausage. It’s just a nice touch for meat-eaters.

Next post, I’ll be giving away a brand spanking-new copy of the paperback edition of The Farm to Table Cookbook!!! So bookmark, Tweet, Facebook, RSS feed or what-have-you. You don’t want to miss the opportunity to win a signed book, do you? And if you have a request for a seasonal recipe for the next post, go ahead, throw them my way. Since I can’t taste right at the moment, I can’t think in food, so suggestions would be great!

One Pan Rice and Beans with Greens (and Sausage)

Makes 6 servings

One 8-ounce bunch collard or kohlrabi greens

1/4 cup olive oil

1 cup finely chopped onion

1 medium green bell pepper, finely chipped

2 celery stalks, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic

1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup long grain rice

2 cups canned vegetable broth, or prepared Vegetarian Chicken Bouillon

1 bay leaf

One 15-ounce can red or kidney beans, drained and rinsed

2 tablespoons hot sauce

6 ounces kielbasa-style sausages, cut on the bias into 1/2-inch thick slices

Wash the greens and shake off excess water. Remove the tough center ribs of each leaf. Roll the leaves up in a tight cylinder and thinly slice them crosswise. Roughly chop the greens and them set aside. (You will need about 4 cups chopped leaves.)

Heat the oil over medium heat in a 3 quart sauté pan with lid. When the oil is hot, add the onion, bell pepper, and celery and sauté until the onion is translucent, 6 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 45 seconds. Add the greens and stir with tongs until they are wilted, about 5 minutes.

Add the Cajun seasoning, salt, and rice to the pan and stir to coat the rice with the oil. Add the broth and bay leaf and stir to combine. Increase heat to high and bring to a simmer. Sprinkle the beans over the top of the rice mixture in an even layer. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook without stirring until the rice is tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Gently fold the hot sauce into the rice mixture

For the meat-eater portions: In a separate non-stick pan, fry the sausage slices until they are browned and heated through, about 4 minutes per side.

Divide the hoppin’ john among 6 bowls, toss the sausage into the meat eaters’ portions.

15 Responses to New Year, New Hoppin John

  1. Zozopdx January 16, 2010 at 11:27 PM #

    this looks delicious! we have a package of black-eyed peas in the pantry right now, and I was just thinking I was ready to make another batch of peas, cornbread, and greens. looking forward to giving this a try!

  2. Zozopdx January 16, 2010 at 11:28 PM #

    oops, just re-read this and saw the kidney/red beans, but still think I’ll use the black-eyed peas because they’re soooo good!

  3. Rebecca January 17, 2010 at 3:17 AM #

    I was thinkin’ I needed to do some beans and rice. Perfect timing…. I’m all over this one.

  4. Ivy January 17, 2010 at 4:13 AM #

    Zoro, thanks for commenting! Truthfully, the authentic version is with black eyed peas. They don’t agree with me (tummy wubbles), so I sub kidney beans, they’re high in iron. Try with b.e.p.’s and revel in your thrifty resourcefulness!

  5. Catherine January 17, 2010 at 5:44 PM #

    Seeing how I am feed all carnivores. Used bacon with the onions and green pepper. Layered sausages on top while the rice cooked. Almost ate the while batch in a sitting. Just wish my corn bread turned out as good. Amazing how much a difference baking powder would have made, ugh.

    Thanks for an awesome dinner suggestion. Now I just wish there was enough for leftovers. What should I make tomorrow?

  6. noble pig January 17, 2010 at 5:48 PM #

    One of my favorite types of meals, Happy New Year.

  7. Ivy January 17, 2010 at 9:30 PM #


    I do that all the time when baking! Forget one really key ingredient! A great teacher/pastry chef Lee Posey once taught me to get out all the ingredients and line them up left to right on the counter, putting away each ingredient as I use it, so you know if you missed anything. Sounds kind of anal, but if you’re a pastry chef, you HAVE to be. And the trick does work when I’m having senior moments.
    If you are curious and want to have another go at cornbread, I posted my favorite recipe in this post:

    Thanks for stopping by and trying a recipe!

  8. Dana January 18, 2010 at 5:08 PM #

    Ivy, that looks terrific! Have you and Mr. Tofu tried the Yves veg sausages? I think they are pretty good and might be great here.

  9. Ivy January 18, 2010 at 5:13 PM #

    Dear Dana,
    Yes, we both like Yves stuff. I didn’t have any kicking around this time, though. Believe it or not Safeway often has it on sale.

  10. Ali January 19, 2010 at 4:06 AM #

    Ivy-Great post, I am with you on feeling one dimensional-food is my topic of choice and try as I might to diversify I always seem to find myself reading more cookbooks and browsing at grocery stores! I have a couple favorite Hoppin John recipes already but it is such a great combo that another one is welcome. Hope you are feeling better.

  11. Ivy January 19, 2010 at 5:51 PM #

    Thanks for your comment, Ali!
    Well, a chef in culinary school told us “A third of you won’t use this education. A third of you will wind up in jail. And the other third…well, food chooses you, you don’t choose it, I’m afraid you’re life-ers.” Funny guy.
    Thanks also for comment on the scone post. I accidentally rejected it, but I would have loved to post it. Sorry for your loss, too.

  12. Michael Natkin January 19, 2010 at 9:05 PM #

    My only question is why I don’t make this much more often? Nothing satisfies like all the glorious forms of rice and beans, and this has to be one of the best.

  13. danazia January 24, 2010 at 4:40 AM #

    Oh honey! I’m so sorry that you got that horrible flu going around! I can feel my chest tighten just thinking about it! I must admit, I’m kinda getting one dimesional too. My hubby asks once in a while….”isn’t there something else you would rather be doing than drooling over food blogs?” ah, that would be a no. Hope your feeling better soon. Make yourself some ginger tea.

  14. Heide H January 24, 2010 at 4:27 PM #

    My husband is from New Orleans so I think that he is going to love this recipe! Do you have any Mardi Gras recipes hidden away? I would love to surprise him with some “home cooking” next month! I have recently discovered your Blog and I am hooked! Thank-you!

  15. Ivy January 26, 2010 at 8:50 PM #

    Thanks, Michael.
    It’s so good, there’s a song about it. “I could eat a bowl twice”…

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