The New Year brings many traditions, one of the most delicious is Hoppin’ John — my gluten free Hoppin’ John Hushpuppies are our favorite way to enjoy black eyed peas at New Years! (Read this post for other New Year’s Day food traditions.)
If you’re looking for more ways to celebrate the New Year and to embrace a healthier and happier gluten free lifestyle in the new year, check out my post full of delicious ideas! These Gluten Free Hoppin’ Johns are just one of my favorites.
The many varied incarnations of this unique dish date back to African roots, though modern versions often enjoy Caribbean influences. At the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, folks in the South can often be found enjoying a culinary tradition that ought not be kept a secret, “Hoppin’ John.”
Stories of the origins of this rice and black-eyed pea dish are nearly as varied as the recipes bearing their name, which means people hearkening from many regions have enjoyed them for centuries – as will your guests this New Year!
Legumes like peas, beans and lentils have long symbolized money. Some folks even set out on New Year’s to eat a pea for each day in the new year, a custom apparently hailing from the legend that the town of Vicksburg, Virginia ran out of food during the Civil War, while under attack. The citizens fortunately found a store of black-eyed peas which helped them outlast the attack and thus, gave them pretty darn good luck.
While the Hoppin’ John dish is traditionally cooked with bacon or ham and served over rice, my version is deliciously vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free with a tasty twist on the traditional: gluten free Hoppin’ John Hushpuppies!
Serve these as a side dish at your New Year’s festivities, or any time you want a crispy-on-the-outside, moist and chewy-on-the-inside, flavorful fritter! When cooked as a patty, it even makes a great sub for a veggie burger!
If you use dried black-eyed peas, be sure to wash and leave time to soak them overnight before beginning this recipe.
Gluten Free Hoppin' John
- 2 cups dried and soaked black-eyed peas or frozen or canned black-eyed peas
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ¾ cup carrots, peeled and diced
- ½ cup celery, diced
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 2 tablespoons fresh Italian Parsley, chopped
- 1 smoked chipotle chile in adobo sauce, diced (select gluten free brand)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 1 tablespoon gfJules® Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
- Oil for frying (avocado, almond, safflower, sunflower or other high heat oil)
Lemon Dijon Aioli
- ½ cup mayonnaise or egg-free substitute
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Gluten Free Hoppin' John
1. If using dried peas, drain after soaking.
For dried or frozen peas, place in a large pot and cover with
water. Bring to a boil, then lower to simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes or until tender. Add more water during the simmer if the water level reduces to below the peas.
2. Once cooked and tender, drain and set aside.
If using canned peas, rinse, drain and set aside without cooking.
3. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.
Add carrots, celery, and onion and sauté for 10 minutes or until the onion is translucent.
4. 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.
5. Measure out 2 cups of the 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.
6. Fold in the sautéed vegetables, rice, Italian Parsley, chipotle chile, and salt and pepper until fully integrated. Stir in the flour. Lastly, gently fold in the remaining peas, taking care to preserve some of them whole. Cover and chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour (you may skip chilling step if in a hurry; this just makes the mixture less sticky and easier to work with).
7. Once chilled, scoop 1-2 tablespoons of the mixture into your hands and form into hush puppy-shaped barrels or flattened patties, approximately ½ inch thick. Set aside while forming the rest of the mixture.
8. Heat oil in a deep fryer or deep pot for hush puppies (filling pot with enough oil to cover the entire hush puppy). For frying patties, add oil to a heavy skillet, covering the entire skillet surface with oil. Lay puppies or patties gently into oil heated to medium-high, and turn or flip them when browned on one side, approximately 2-3 minutes per side. Drain them on paper towels until ready to serve. ALTERNATIVELY, cook in air fryer at 400F until crispy on the outside, approximately 10 minutes.
9. Serve with Lemon Dijon Aioli Sauce below.
Lemon Dijon Aioli Sauce
Stir ingredients together in a small bowl, refrigerate until cold and serve with warm or cold Hoppin' John Hush Puppies.
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