Hoppin' John with Smoked Tofu
Smoked tofu has a slightly dense, chewy texture and strong smoky flavor that makes an excellent substitute for the smoked ham hock traditional to hoppin’ John; cooking the tofu whole with the beans, then cutting it up, keeps it moist. This does require some prep (unless you make the peas ahead of time), but since many of us are home right now, it can easily go into the weeknight meal category.
Makes: 6-8 servings
Time: About 2 ½ hours, largely unattended
1 ½ cups dried black-eyed peas, rinsed and picked over
8 cups vegetable stock or water
1 14- to 16-ounce package smoked tofu
2 medium onions, minced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 ½ cups long-grain white rice
Salt and pepper
Tabasco sauce (optional)
1. Put the peas, stock, tofu, onions, and garlic in a large pot with a tight-fitting lid. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the liquid bubbles steadily but not violently. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the peas are tender but not mushy, 1 to 2 hours. (You can make the peas ahead to this point. Cool, cover, and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Reheat gently before proceeding.)
2. When the peas are ready, make sure you have about 3 cups liquid; if you have less, add water to make 3 cups; if you have more, spoon some out. Stir in the rice, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cover. Reduce the heat to low and cook undisturbed until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes.
3. Remove the lid; if any liquid remains, turn the heat to high for a minute or 2 to boil it off. Remove the tofu, cut it into cubes, and return it to the pot. Use a fork to gently fluff the rice, peas, and tofu. Add a dash or 2 of Tabasco if you like, taste, and adjust the seasoning. Put the lid back on and let the dish rest for at least 5 minutes and up to 15 before serving.
— Recipe from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, Tenth Anniversary Edition (Photo: Zach DeSart and Burcu Avsar)