Thursday, June 26, 2008

Beans, Beans, the Musical Fruit!

I love Frugal Upstate's new weekly series: recipes that feature a certain ingredient. This week: Beans. Husband hails originally from North Carolina (pronounced "No-ath Ke-al-ahna"), so this Northern girl quickly learned some Southern dishes, including hopping john, red-eye gravy and grits.
Hoppin John seems to have come from slave era times, and uses blackeyed peas. Frankly, I prefer them to other types of beans -- they have a near-spicy flavor of their own. Combine them with any leftover ham scraps -- or just use the hambone, instead. Eating Hoppin John on New Year's Day is considered good luck!


2 cups blackeyed peas
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped ham scraps (or a hambone)
1/2 cup chopped red or green pepper (leave this out if someone in your family has trouble
with gaseous eruptions!)
1 teaspoon salt
1-2 teaspoons garlic
1-2 teaspoon basils
1 beef bouillon cube (optional)
1-2 teaspoons hot sauce

that's it! Mix everything together and add enough water to cover the beans by at least 3". Cook slowly on the stove (approx. 2-3 hours) or in the crockpot (6-9 hours on 'low,' or 3-4 hours on 'high'). Add water as needed if the beans start to get too thick. Serve over rice to 6 contented Southerners.

For more bean recipes, visit Frugal Upstate -- she's great.

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