If I was on the ball I would have given you this recipe days ago because eating black-eyed peas on New Years Day is said to bring good luck all year long and I'm willing to give anything that promises even the remote chance of luck a try. I was prepared to beg your forgiveness but the mister said that wasn't necessary...he, being somewhat of a prognosticator of pontifical rhetoric, said eating black-eyed peas ANY day during the first week of the New Year would still bring the promised good luck...so fear not. (I don't know how he knows this because the last time I checked he was not a card-carrying member of the Soothsayer Society.) The mister knows a thing or two about luck, after all, he is STILL married to me, has a dog who he lets think he's his personal chew toy, has children (5 at the latest count) who still talk to him, and last week the mister held in his hand a winning lottery ticket...he won the largest amount he's ever won, too...TWENTY DOLLARS! Luck could be his middle name. And now, after eating Hoppin' John for dinner, I'll hardly be able to sleep just wondering what LUCK will be headed our way!
You might be wondering where the name Hoppin' John comes from...if you find out, let me know as I have no clue. This is a two-pot dish...one for the Hoppin' John...onions, smoked ham cubes, black-eyed peas and tomatoes and the other pot is for the Cheddar Grits...smooth, creamy and cheesy...definitely not on my diet but for a chance at luck I was willing to take an hour off from dieting and I suggest you do, too.
Hoppin' John With Ham Over Cheddar Grits - Adapted From Southern Living Magazine
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cups smoked ham, cubed
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cans (15 oz.) black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 can (29 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (4.5 oz.) mild green chiles
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
For Cheddar Grits:
3 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cups uncooked quick-cooking grits
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add onion and saute for 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in ham, and cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes or until the ham just begins to take on a little color. Stir in black-eyed peas, tomatoes and green chiles. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook uncovered for 10 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer and cook for an additional 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro. Serve immediately over cheddar grits.
To make cheddar grits: Bring chicken broth and butter to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Gradually whisk in grits, and return to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occationally, for 5 minutes or until thickened. Stir in cheese until melted. Serve immediately. This dish serves 4 to 6 unlucky people.