You don’t need to wait until New Year’s Day to serve this slightly more sophisticated version of hoppin’ john adapted from an old Gourmet magazine article. Here, shrimp enlivens the usual mélange of black-eyed peas, rice and pork, along with extra-heavy doses of garlic and black pepper. Served with a salad and cornbread for sopping up the savory juices, it makes for an easy weeknight dinner, but also feels special enough to serve to company. — Susan Puckett
4 bacon slices, diced
4 scallions, chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped
1/2 medium green or red bell pepper, chopped
1½ tablespoons finely chopped garlic, divided use
2 Turkish bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon hot red-pepper flakes
Salt and coarsely ground black pepper
2 (15-ounce) cans black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained (or 2 cups dried black-eyed peas, cooked until tender)
1 3/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 cups cooked brown or white rice
1. In a 12-inch heavy skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until browned but not crisp. Transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
2. In the remaining fat in the skillet, cook scallions, carrot, celery, bell pepper, ½ tablespoon of the garlic, bay leaves, thyme and red pepper flakes over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Season with 1/8 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Add black-eyed peas and broth and simmer 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
3. Meanwhile, add oil to the skillet and heat over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Season shrimp with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Add seasoned shrimp along with the remaining tablespoon of garlic to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until just opaque but not fully cooked, about 2 minutes. Add wine and bring to a boil, then reduce to a brisk simmer 2 minutes or until shrimp is cooked completely through. Add bacon and black-eyed-pea mixture and simmer until just heated through. Mixture will be soupy. Discard bay leaves. Stir in rice, then ladle into wide bowls.
Makes 6 servings