March 10, 2009

Slow Cooker Hoppin' John

We had a little luncheon/birthday party for my friend, Claire at my house earlier today (Happy Birthday, Claire!!!!). The weather is beautiful right now, so my mom friends and I spent most of our time on the back patio in the shade, while our kids played in my backyard. We had a total of eight moms, and more kids than I can count, running around all willy-nilly. We all pitched in and brought either a side dish, dessert, drinks, or chipped in money for pizzas. The food was yummy and I had a great time chatting with my buddies while the kids played. It was a little hectic, but overall, it was a great way to spend the early part of the afternoon. My son certainly had a lot of fun. After everyone left, he went straight to his room and passed out! In fact, I can hear him snoring softly over the monitor. I love it when he plays really hard and then conks out for a good nap! The best part is that my house is clean, and I already have dinner going in the slow cooker; that means his nap time is now my relax time!!! Hooray!!!

So, since I knew that I would need to get my house ready for Claire's party, I decided to do a slow cooker dinner. I have had this meal marked for a few months, but I never quite get around to making it. I think it is because I am skeptical of black eyed peas. No, not the funky, musical group...real black eyed know, the legumes. (Although, as I type this all I can think of is the lyrics to My Humps..."whatcha gon' do wit' all dat junk? all dat junk inside yo trunk?...." you get the picture.) (See! Now you will have that song stuck in your head, too!!!!) Anyway, I have never really tried black eyed peas before, so I am not sure what to expect. I found this recipe in my Cooking Light Slow Cooker cookbook. It is my favorite go-to, healthy slow cooker resource. Every dish I have tried out of this book turns out great! To keep it simple, I think I will just serve this dish with a side salad and call it a night. As it seems a lot lately, I am all about the easy dinner!

Slow Cooker Hoppin' John

2 (16 ounce) packages of frozen black eyed peas
2 cups of hot water
3/4 cup of sliced green onions
3/4 cup of chopped red bell pepper
2 Tablespoons of minced jalapeno, seeded
2 teaspoons hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
1 vegetable-flavored bouillon cube
1 (14.5 ounce) can of Cajun-style stewed tomatoes with garlic, pepper,and Cajun spices; undrained
2/3 cup of uncooked converted rice
1/2 cup of sliced green onions

Combine first nine ingredients in slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours. Stir in tomatoes and rice, and cover and cook 1 additional hour (or until both peas and rice are tender). Stir in green onions. Serve.

Yield: 6 servings; serving size 1 2/3 cups.

Jen's Notes:
I am debating if I also want to make a quick batch of corn bread. The photo in the book shows a bowl full of Hoppin' John with a hunk of corn bread beside it. It looks pretty tasty, and I do have a box of corn bread mix in the pantry. HMMMM???? I am not sure...I think I will wait and ask the husband if he feels like some cornbread, too. This dish sure smells good, so I have high hopes!

The Result:
This can best be described as disappointing. The whole dish was reminiscent of a rice and beans side dish...and that is about it. The rice turned out really gummy. I did not end up making corn bread or salad, since I really did not have time. I was afraid if I left this dish sit for too long the rice mixture would have turned into concrete. (I was wondering how the rice would work in the slow I know.) The flavors were "eh"...pretty boring actually. It was fairly spicy, so we topped it with some light sour cream to try and make it more palatable. My Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice recipe is a much better dish of basically the same concept. I would be open to trying Hoppin' John again...just not this recipe.


jenanderson said...

Darn! Your picture made it look good so I was hoping for better.

claireknightly said...

Thanks again for the fun party!! I have never had good luck with rice in the crockpot. I've tried it twice and both times had horrible results.

BTW, thanks for feeding my cookbook addiction. I must get the one you mentioned!!