Hoppin’ John

A traditional West Indian recipe flow firmly incorporated into the American Southern ‘soul’ food repertoire, Hoppin’ John is a spicy mixture of black-eye beans, rice, tomatoes and onion. It is particularly tasty when served with the other staples of ‘souP, such as ham hocks, smothered pork chops and collard greens. A well-chilled beer is best zoith this delicious but spicy food.

4-6 SERVINGS

8 oz. dried black-eye beans, soaked in cold water overnight and drained

2 pints water

1½ teaspoons salt

8 oz. long-grain rice, washed, soaked in cold water for

30 minutes and drained

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped

14 oz. canned peeled tomatoes

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 teaspoon black pepper

Place the beans in a large saucepan and pour in the water and 1 teaspoon of salt. Place the pan over moderately high heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, partially cover the pan and simmer the beans for 1 ½ hours.

Stir in the rice, cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small frying-pan, heat the oil over moderate heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent but not brown. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the tomatoes with the can juice, the cayenne, pepper and the remaining salt.

Pour the onion and tomato mixture into the beans and rice mixture and stir to blend the ingredients. Re-cover the pan and continue to simmer the mixture for a further 15 to 20 minutes, or until the rice and beans are tender.

Remove the pan from the heat and serve at once.

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