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Spicy Hoppin' John

What you need: 

2 cups dried black-eyed peas, rinsed or 2 (16-ounce) packages frozen black-eyed peas
water
1 section kombu, broken into pieces (dried seaweed)
olive oil
5 stalks celery, sliced
1 large yellow onion, chopped
salt, to taste (I use Gray Celtic coarse grain sea salt)
1/2 (6-ounce) package Fakin' Bacon (smoked tempeh; optional)
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 to 5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes with peppers (I use Muir Glen fire roasted tomatoes with peppers, but RoTel works)
1 cup brown basmati rice
8 to 12 splurts of liquid smoke flavor

What you do: 

1. If Using Dried Peas: Place peas in a large sauce pan and cover well with water. Put over medium high heat until it comes to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, then shut off and let sit for an hour. Rinse beans well, refill pot with water to cover peas well, add kombu, and cook over a low heat while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
If using frozen peas, here's where you start; if dried, here's where you continue:
2. Put a swirl of olive oil in a large stock pot and put over a medium low heat. To the pot, add celery, onion, and salt. Cook for 3 minutes.
3. Add tempeh, bell pepper, garlic, and thyme. Cook until the onions are soft and golden.
4. Add black-eyed peas, tomatoes, rice, and smoke flavor. If using frozen peas, add enough water to cover. If using dried beans, add them with their cooking water.
5. Cook for 45 minutes, or until rice and beans are soft. It should look a little soupy. Serve with a splash of hot sauce for an extra kick, and enjoy!
Source of recipe: This is my take on an old Southern recipe eaten for good luck on New Year's Day.

Preparation Time: 
10 minutes, Cooking time: 1 or 3 hours
Cooking Time: 
1 or 3 hours
Servings: 
Recipe Category: 

SO HOW'D IT GO?

Unless you REALLY like your Hoppin' John smoky, either use the tempeh OR use smoke flavor.  Don't use both.  We couldn't find Fakin' Bacon this week, so I used smoke flavor instead.  I think using both would be overwhelming.

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