Hoppin' John with Porcini
According to Southern tradition, if you serve this dish on New Year's Day it will bring good luck for the rest of the year. We've taken the liberty of improving on hoppin' John by giving it a modest makeover: The bacon typically used in the dish has been replaced by porcini mushrooms (for deep flavor) and olive oil (for healthful fats).
1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms (about 1/2 cup)
1 cup boiling water
1 cup rice
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large red onion, coarsely chopped
2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen black-eyed peas
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 In a small heatproof bowl, combine the dried mushrooms and the boiling water, and let stand for 20 minutes or until softened. Reserving the soaking liquid, scoop out the dried mushrooms and finely chop. Strain the soaking liquid through a coffee filter or a paper towel-lined sieve.
2 Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, cook the rice according to package directions, using 1/4 teaspoon of the salt.
3 In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is tender, about 7 minutes.
4 Add the reserved mushroom soaking liquid, the mushrooms, the remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, the black-eyed peas, and 1-1/4 cups of water, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the black-eyed peas are almost tender, about 10 minutes.
5 Uncover and cook until the peas are fully tender and the water has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, pepper, and cooked rice, and stir well to combine.
Makes 8 servings.
Per serving: 209 calories, 2.4g total fat (0.4g saturated), 0mg cholesterol, 4g dietary fiber, 39g carbohydrate, 8g protein, 297mg sodium.