It’s nearly New Year’s Eve and I’m a gluten-free foodie from the South. Those facts put togethether mean that I’m on the hunt for creative ways to work Hoppin’ John into my menu! (Read this post for other New Year’s Day food traditions!)
The many varied incarnations of this dish date back to African roots, though modern versions often enjoy Carribbean influences. While the dish is traditionally cooked with bacon or ham and served over rice, my version is deliciously vegetarian, gluten and dairy-free with a tasty twist on the traditional: Hoppin’ John Hushpuppies!
Serve these as a side dish at your New Year’s Eve festivities, or any time you want a crispy-on-the-outside, moist and chewy-on-the-inside, flavorful fritter! (To see my other New Year’s Eve appetizer and libation recommendations, read my article in Living Without Magazine’s Gluten-Free Holiday Guide 2010)
Hoppin’ John Hush Puppies
- 3 15-ounce cans black-eyed peas or 2 cups dried* or frozen black-eyed peas
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ¾ cup carrots, peeled and diced
- ½ cup celery, diced
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 1 small red onion, diced
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- 1 smoked chipotle chile in adobo sauce, diced-optional- (Goya® and La Costena® brands do not contain gluten)
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon Jules Gluten FreeTM All Purpose Flour
- High heat oil for frying
- 2 eggs or flaxmeal egg substitute - optional (add only if you have trouble getting the hushpuppies/patties to hold together)
Rinse and drain canned peas. Set aside without cooking.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add vegetables and sauté for 10 minutes or until the onion is translucent. Add garlic and cook another 2 minutes. Add the wine and stir. Continue to cook over low heat until the wine has evaporated and mixture is fairly dry. Set aside.
Measure out 2 cups prepared peas and set aside. Pour remaining peas into a large mixing bowl and blend with a paddle attachment or mash with a potato masher until the peas lose their definition and a sticky mash is formed.
Fold in sautéed vegetables, rice, Italian parsley, chipotle chile and salt and pepper until fully integrated. Stir in the flour. Then gently stir in remaining peas, taking care to preserve some of them whole. Cover and chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Once chilled, scoop 1 to 2 tablespoons mixture into your hands and form into hush puppy-shaped barrels or flattened patties to approximately ½-inch thickness. Set aside while forming the rest of the mixture. (If you have any trouble getting the mixture to hold together for frying, stir in two eggs or flaxmeal egg substitute to help the hushpuppies/patties to stick together).
Heat oil in a deep fryer or deep pot for hush puppies (filling pot with enough oil to cover the entire hush puppy) or in a heavy skillet for patties (cover entire skillet surface with oil). Lay patties gently into oil heated to medium-high. Turn or flip them when browned on one side, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels until ready to serve.
*To use dried black-eyed peas, wash and soak 2 cups dried peas overnight. Drain and cook dried peas by placing them in a large pot and covering them with water. Bring to a boil. Then lower heat and simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes or until tender. Add more water during the simmer if the water level reduces to below the peas. Once cooked and tender, drain peas and set aside. Proceed with recipe as instructed.
**Another note- I just made these with the addition of 1 lb. of lump crabmeat for an awesome crabcake dinner!
Makes about 15
- ½ cup mayonnaise or egg-free mayonnaise substitute
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoons garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoons cayenne pepper
Stir ingredients together in a small bowl.
Refrigerate until cold. Serve with warm or cold Hoppin’ John Hush Puppies.
Makes 1/2 cup Aioli
(Want to learn more about Hoppin’ John history? Check out this article!)