Hoppin' John

My Hoppin' John is a bit nontraditional, but it has loads of flavor. I add a spicy kick with chopped fresh jalapeno and then a hint of sweet/sour (just a hint) from balsamic vinegar. The vinegar just rounds things out a bit. Shake a little pepper-flavored vinegar (the kind with tiny peppers in the jar along with the vinegar) over your serving for added flavor and kick.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/2 large jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic, about 1 large clove
  • 3 links home-smoked sausage or 1/2 pound store-bought smoked sausage (such as kielbasa), cut into 1/4-inch discs
  • 2 16-ounce cans black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained, or 1 pound fresh or frozen black-eyed peas with snaps (cooked prior to using in this recipe)
  • 2 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups hot cooked white rice
  • Pepper-flavored vinegar, optional, for serving

Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and jalapeno and sauté until the onion is wilted and the vegetables begin to turn golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add the smoked sausage, black-eyed peas and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with the white rice.