This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #UnforgettableRice #CollectiveBias. We were excited to have the chance to collaborate with RiceSelect® to bring you this Hoppin’ John Risotto.
Interested in trying out the RiceSelect Arborio Rice? Hover over the photo to click through to Walmart.com for purchasing.
I’m a big risotto fan, so when I heard they were looking for bloggers to come up with creative recipes for RiceSelect Arborio Rice, I was right on it! Plus, I regularly use the RiceSelect products for risotto and a range of other rice recipes, so this was a natural for me. You can find a lot of traditional risotto recipes here on Cooking Chat, but I took this as an opportunity to get the creative juices flowing! In today’s recipe, Arborio rice from RiceSelect provides the foundation for an unforgettable risotto version of the Southern classic dish, Hoppin’ John. Onions, collard greens, bacon, black eyed peas and cheese combine for layers of delicious flavor.
Making Great Meals with RiceSelect Arborio Rice
I love the way the high quality RiceSelect Arborio Rice serves as a wonderful foundation for self-expression resulting in an impressive meal creation. Today I am sharing an easy way to cook your arborio rice that enables you to focus your creative energy on building up some delicious flavors in the skillet.
For this Hoppin’ John Risotto recipe, we cook the rice in boiling water with a bit of broth, then add it to the skillet once the other ingredients have been cooked. This technique helps showcase the flexibility of the sturdy arborio rice, and it proves that making risotto isn’t very hard! I should also mention that the RiceSelect Arborio Rice is non-GMO, with no artificial ingredients. In fact, there is only one ingredient on the label–arborio rice–gotta love that! The containers are handy for keeping the rice, and can be re-used for other things when you’ve cooked all the rice–I learned prepping for this article that the container is BPA free plastic.
Rounding Up Risotto Ingredients at Walmart
Yes, you can find the RiceSelect Arborio Rice at WalMart. In fact, I was able to easily round up all the ingredients for this Hoppin’ John Risotto at a nearby WalMart–located in Saugus, MA. Here’s a look at the aisle you want to find to get your RiceSelect Arborio Rice:
One quick tip– at the Walmart I shopped at, the canned black-eyed peas are in the aisle after the one with the rice. The canned beans are with other canned vegetables; dried beans are in the aisle with the rice. Walmart’s website is a good resource for checking to see if they have the arborio rice in stock, too.
What is Hoppin’ John?
Hoppin’ John is a traditional Southern U.S. dish that combines pork, black-eyed peas and rice. Like many traditional dishes, there are a lot of versions of how to make this dish. So today we add another option–using the hearty arborio rice, with its roots in Italy.
There is a long Southern tradition of eating black-eyed peas in Hoppin’ John and other preparations for good luck on New Year’s Day. In some families, you would be really set up for a good year if you were lucky enough to find a coin in your dish of Hoppin’ John.
We have left coins out of our Hoppin’ John Risotto recipe, but we do think you will consider yourself lucky to enjoy a plate of it soon! So Hoppin’ John Risotto could be a fun recipe to plan to make on New Year’s Day. But it is easy enough to fix any time you are ready for a flavorful, hearty meal. For more background on the history and traditions related to Hoppin’ John, visit this article on What’s Cooking America.
Tips for making Hoppin’ John Risotto
Ok, time to provide some tips for making Hoppin’ John Risotto with RiceSelect Arborio Rice; jump ahead to the recipe card for the complete step by step instructions.
- Get your ingredients chopped and ready before you start cooking to help this recipe go smoothly.
- To prep the collard greens, after rinsing them start by cutting off the thick stem. Then, fold several leaves together to coarsely chop the leaves.
- The cooking starts with the bacon, getting it a nice crispy brown in a large skillet. When done, set the bacon aside and pour off most of the grease. But leave a little along with some bacon bits in the skillet, this will provide a nice base of flavor for the Hoppin’ John Risotto.
- Next the onion gets added to the skillet, followed by bell pepper and garlic.
- After the onions and peppers have begun to soften, add the collard greens in a couple of batches. These greens are bulky at first, so you need to cook down one batch for a few minutes before adding more. Cover the collard greens and start to cook the rice.
How to cook arborio rice
Traditional risotto is made by slowly ladling broth into the pan with rice and some aromatics like onions and garlic. There is frequent stirring involved. Don’t get me wrong, I love making a traditional risotto, and I will be certainly making some again soon with the arborio rice I have on hand. For instance, this Roasted Portobello Mushroom Risotto is one of my favorite traditional risotto recipes. Today I am showing you an alternative method for cooking arborio rice. For this Hoppin’ John Risotto recipe, you boil some water along with a bit of broth.
Add the arborio rice to the boiling water, and cook for 15 to 18 minutes. Definitely check the rice at 15 minutes– you want it to be tender to the bite but not too soft, so that it holds up when mixed with the other ingredients. So basically, today we are cooking the arborio rice in a method similar to pasta. When the rice is tender, drain it in a colander. Right after draining the rice, add it into the skillet with the other Hoppin’ John ingredients.
Hoppin’ John Risotto final steps
Once the arborio rice is cooked and drained, add the rice into the skillet with the bacon bits and the remaining ½ cup of broth.
Stir so that the greens, rice and other ingredients are well combined.
Finish the dish by stirring in the cheese and scallions. You are now ready to plate and enjoy this delicious Hoppin’ John Risotto with RiceSelect arborio rice!
Hoppin’ John Risotto
Arborio rice from RiceSelect provides the foundation for a creative risotto version of the Southern classic dish, Hoppin’ John. Onions, collard greens, bacon, black eyed peas and cheese combine for layers of delicious flavor.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 45 mins
- Total Time: 55 mins
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: main
- Method: stove top
- Cuisine: fusion
For the skillet:
- 4 strips of bacon – I used low sodium
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 red or orange bell pepper, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 bunch collard greens – stems removed, leaves coarsely chopped
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth, divided
- ⅓ tsp salt
- ¾ tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- 14 ½ oz can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
- 2 tsp honey or maple syrup (optional)
- ⅔ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- ⅓ cup chopped scallions
To cook the rice:
- 1 cup RiceSelect Arborio Rice
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 10 cups water
- pinch of salt
- Cook the bacon: Coat a large skillet with oil spray and heat on medium. Add the 4 strips of bacon when the skillet is hot. Cook until cooked to a crispy brown, about 10 minutes, turning occasionally. When the bacon is cooked to your liking, remove to a plate with a paper towel on it to absorb the excess grease. Pour the extra grease from the skillet into an empty can, leaving a bit of the bacon bits and grease in the pan for flavor. When the bacon has cooled, break it up into bite sized bits and reserve to finish the dish.
- Sauté onion and pepper: Add the olive oil to the skillet used for the bacon, heat on medium low. Add the onion, cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the bell pepper, cook for another 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add the collard greens: Stir the collard greens into the skillet in 2 or 3 batches. These bulky greens take up a lot of space until they start to cook down. After you have added all the greens, stir in ½ cup of chicken broth, salt, paprika and dried thyme. Cover, and simmer on medium low for about 10 minutes. Stir in the black-eyed peas, cover the skillet, and cook for another 10 minutes. Keep warm until the rice is ready to add to the skillet.
- Cook the rice: After adding the greens to the skillet, add the 2 cups chicken broth and the water to a large pot. Bring to a boil, the add the RiceSelect Arborio Rice to the water. Cook the rice for 15 to 18 minutes until just tender. When the rice is done, drain it in a colander that doesn’t have very big holes.
- Mix up the risotto: After the arborio rice has cooked and been drained, stir the rice into the skillet with the collard green mixture along with the remaining ½ cup of chicken broth and the bacon bits. Cook for about 3 minutes to let the flavors meld, then stir in the cheese, scallions and honey if using. Give the cheese 1 or 2 minutes to let it melt, then you are ready to plate and enjoy your Hoppin’ John Risotto with RiceSelect!
- In this recipe, the RiceSelect Arborio Rice is cooked in boiling water and broth, more like the way you cook pasta as opposed to traditional risotto making. This technique shows the versatility of this great arborio rice and lets you focus on building up layers of flavor in the skillet.
- I didn’t use the honey or syrup for this recipe, but have added it with previous versions of Hoppin’ John that I have made. Consider adding it if you like a little touch of sweetness.
- You can get creative and add to the rice cooking water things like a bay leaf, tablespoon of a minced fresh herb, or some lemon zest.
Keywords: arborio rice, hoppin' john, creative risotto recipes, RiceSelect Arborio Rice
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