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Hoppin' John Cakes with Grilled Tomato and Black-Eyed Pea Salsa

Jim Franco
Yield Makes 12 (2-inch) cakes
You can make the salsa up to three days ahead and form the cakes the day before--just cover and refrigerate until ready to fry. Prep: 20 minutes; Cook: 1 hour 10 minutes.


  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, divided
  • 1 cup frozen black-eyed peas
  • 1 small red onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
  • 1 cup grated Cheddar cheese or chèvre
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups Japanese breadcrumbs*
  • 1/3 cup canola or safflower oil, divided
  • Grilled Tomato and Black-Eyed Pea Salsa

How to Make It

  1. Simmer broth in a large saucepan. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan; add rice and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and stir about 2 minutes or until rice turns translucent. Reduce heat to medium, and add about 1/2 cup hot broth, stirring until liquid is absorbed. Repeat procedure with remaining broth, 1/2 cup at a time. Cook 25 minutes or until rice is cooked but firm.

  2. Cook peas according to package directions; drain. Add peas, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, onion, and next 7 ingredients to rice, and stir until thoroughly mixed.

  3. Form 1/3 cup mixture into a 2-inch round cake about 3/4 inches thick. Repeat to make about 11 more cakes.

  4. Place breadcrumbs on a plate, and roll cakes to coat. Shake off excess breadcrumbs.

  5. Heat half of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook half of the cakes 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Drain cakes on a paper towel, transfer to a baking sheet, and place in warm oven. Add remaining oil, and repeat process with remaining cakes. Serve warm topped with Grilled Tomato and Black-Eyed Pea Salsa.

  6. *For testing purposes, we used Panko for Japanese breadcrumbs.