Serve this excellent version of a Southern classic with hot cornbread fresh from the oven.
INGREDIENTS | SERVES 6
- 6 slices bacon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 (15-ounce) cans black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1½ cups long-grain white rice
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- ⅓ cup grated Romano cheese
In large saucepan, cook bacon until crisp. Drain, crumble, and set aside. Drain pan; do not wipe. Add olive oil.
Cook onion and garlic until tender, about 6 minutes. Add green bell pepper; cook 3 minutes longer.
Add peas, broth, and tomatoes and bring to a simmer.
Add rice, red pepper flakes, thyme, and bacon and bring to a simmer again.
Cover pot and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes until rice is tender. Stir in cheese and serve.
This dish is traditionally served on New Year's Day in the South for good luck. It must be made with black-eyed peas, which represent wealth; the bacon represents luck. There are lots of legends about how it got its name; the truest may be that children love it so much they hop until it's ready to eat.