I had my taste buds set for something that I hadn't made for a long time: Hoppin' John.
It turned out Tam had not had the stuff in so long, she'd forgotten what it was!
At the most basic, it's a fairly dry stew of blackeyed peas and smoked pork, served over rice. Typically, good strong ham, some onion and a pepper of some kind are cooked with the two-tone beans, and the flavor can be anything from mild to hot. "Foodie" versions found on the web use thick bacon* and that's a nice variation, but I had something else in mind.
A chorizo sausage, some cubed panchetta, and a small package of diced ham. The ham was mostly there to add some more meat; with Tam doing low-carb, the blackeyed peas couldn't dominate. Once the meat was mostly cooked (and the fat poured off), I added half a red onion and as it cooked down, diced Anaheim and yellow bell peppers. As son as they were bright, I added the blackeyed peas and the (rinsed) ham and let the whole thing simmer for about ten minutes.
Easy and quick. Served with chopped raw green onion and (pickled -- fresh is better if you have it) diced hot red cherry pepper for toppers. Tam skipped the rice and pronounced the stuff delicious.
If you like it hotter, capicola could replace the ham. Mind the salt -- you won't want to add more if you use canned blackeyed peas, and inexpensive ham should be rinsed to reduce its saltiness.
* If you like umami-range flavors in your food, try blackeyed peas with straw mushrooms and bacon. The first two ingredients are sold canned; just fry up the bacon, drain it, and crumble it into the beans and mushrooms. It's wonderful!
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