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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Hoppin' John

I made this because we had left-over brown rice and left-over black-eyed peas. It's amazingly good, with a few alterations. I also mixed in left-over tofu, because it was there and going bad. And I'm posting it because so far, ya'll like your meat. :-D

  • 2 cups quick-cooking brown rice - whatever rice you have laying around. We had long grained brown rice already cooked.
  • 16- to 20-oz. can black-eyed peas - I used dried beans that I had already cooked. Except for canned tomatoes I avoid canned foods.
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced
  • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped - alas, they're not in seasons. We substituted fire-roasted with garlic. Much better.
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil or 1 Tbs. dried - we didn't have any and skipped it
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme or 1/4 tsp. dried
  1. Cook rice according to package directions. Meanwhile, drain black-eyed peas, reserving liquid. Rinse peas under cold running water and set aside.
  2. In large pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 12 minutes. Add garlic, and cook, stirring often, until onions are golden, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in tomatoes, basil, thyme and 1/4 cup water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until tomatoes have softened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in rice, tofu* and black-eyed peas until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until flavors have blended, 5 minutes. If necessary, add a little reserved liquid from peas as needed to keep mixture somewhat moist. Serve hot.
*If you're using tofu, cube it and fry it in a bit of olive oil, then toss it in. Or crumble it if you want.

Notes: I used a wok frying pan, I did not bother waiting the entire 12 minutes, and instead of using the water I used the tomato juice. It was delicious, and the pictures are below. I served it with sweet potatoes (cubed and boiled with a bit of molasses) for a perfect southern dinner.

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