We hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and that you all are gearing up for a fun and festive New Year’s Eve! While many of you throughout the country are busy making your plans for New Year’s Eve, here in Charleston we are assembling all the ingredients for the traditional Lowcountry New Year’s Day Hoppin’ John. This single pot dish made of up field peas, rice and bacon, and served with a side of greens is meant to be served on New Year’s Day and will supposedly bring luck and prosperity in the New Year to all who eat it. The field peas, or black eyed peas, represent coins, and the side of greens is a reference to American currency. Some even suggest serving some corn bread alongside the dish, which with its golden hue also conveys a reference to wealth.

Hoppin 3

On January 2nd, your leftover Hoppin’ John becomes Skippin’ Jenny. Partaking in Skippin’ Jenny apparently demonstrates your frugality which gives you an even better chance at prosperity in the coming year. Sara Foster, of Foster’s Market in North Carolina, offers up a favorite recipe for Hoppin’ John in her cookbook, Sara Foster’s Southern Kitchen, and recommends making her Hoppin’ John cakes with your leftovers. These are two great recipes for those of us who tire of eating the same thing two days in a row, but are still looking for that increased chance at prosperity! For those of you who have just moved to the Lowcountry (or just want a prosperous 2015) and want to try this simple, delicious dish – below is Sara Foster’s recipe for Hoppin’ John, followed by the recipe for the Hoppin’ John Cakes. All of us at Carriage Properties wish you much propserity in 2015 – we hope this recipe brings you closer to the keys to your dream house. Enjoy!

Anytime Hoppin’ John


2 cups fresh or frozen black-eyed peas

3 to 4 cups water

2 tablespoons olive oil

1⁄4 pound smoked ham, diced

1 small red onion, diced

1⁄2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced

1 jalapeño pepper, cored, seeded, and diced

1 cup long-grain white rice (preferably Carolina Gold)

2 teaspoons fresh thyme

1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste

1 1⁄2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

1⁄4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Freshly ground black pepper

Heirloom Tomato Salsa, for serving

Scallions, trimmed and chopped, for garnish


1. Place the peas in a saucepan with the water and bring to a low boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until just crisp-tender.

2. Meanwhile, place the olive oil in a separate large saucepan over medium-high heat until hot. Add the ham and cook and stir for 2 to 3 minutes, until the ham is light brown around the edges. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion, bell pepper, and jalapeño and cook and stir until the vegetables are tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the rice, thyme, and salt and cook and stir until the rice is coated. Add the broth and stir only once to mix, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 10 minutes.

3. Drain the peas and add to the pan with the rice; continue to cook, covered, for another 10 minutes, until all of the liquid is absorbed, the peas are tender, and the rice is fluffy. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley, cilantro, and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and black pepper to taste and serve warm, topped with the salsa and garnished with scallions.

Hoppin’ John Cakes MAKES 6 TO 8 CAKES

1. Place 2 cups of the cold, leftover Hoppin’ John in a bowl and mash slightly with a potato masher. Add 1 large egg, lightly beaten, 1⁄4 cup fresh bread crumbs and 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour. Stir to combine, then form the mixture into small cakes, about 2 inches round. Place 1⁄4 cup additional fresh bread crumbs in a small low bowl and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Dip each cake into the bread crumbs, pressing the cakes into the bread crumbs so that they adhere on both sides. Refrigerate the cakes until firm, about 1 hour.

2. Heat enough oil to cover the bottom of the skillet over medium-high heat until sizzling hot. Sauté the cakes until golden brown and heated through, about 3 minutes per side, turning only once. Serve warm topped with a poached egg or a handful of mixed greens and Heirloom Tomato Salsa.


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