1 cup dried black-eyed peas
4 cups water
1 small ham hock or 3 strips smoked bacon or ¼ pound salt pork
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped celery
½ cup finely chopped green pepper
¾ cup long grain Carolina rice
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup cooked ham cut into ½ inch cubes
1. Put the peas in a saucepan and add water to cover. Let stand overnight.
2. Drain and return the peas to the saucepan. Add the four cups of water and bring peas to a boil.
3. Add ham hock, (or bacon, or salt pork) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and let simmer 45 minutes or until peas are tender but not mushy. The peas must retain their shape.
4. Reserve one and a half cups of cooking liquid. Drain the peas. Set the peas and the liquid aside.
5. Heat two tablespoons of the butter in a saucepan. Add the onion, celery and green pepper. Cook, stirring, until vegetables are wilted. Add the rice and stir.
6. Add the reserved cooking liquid and bring to a boil. Cover closely and cook 18 minutes.
7. Add the remaining butter and the peas.
8. Add salt and a generous grinding of black pepper. Stir. Add the ham and fold it in gently. Discard the ham hock (bacon or pork) and serve.