From Bill Neal’s Southern Cooking (1985). The late Bill Neal is another of my kitchen idols. He was chef at La Résidence and Crook’s Corner in Chapel Hill and his recipes can be trusted to make delicious food.
Like many other people who live in the South, we eat Hoppin’ John at the New Year. “Collards are for a steady supply of folding green in the coming year; black-eyed peas for plenty of pocket change.”
Bill Neal warned, “Do not stew the different elements into a homogeneous mush. Each pea, grain of rice, chunk of tomato, and piece of scallion should retain its individual identity, flavor, and texture.”
2 cups cooked black-eyed peas
2 cups cooked rice
1 cup chopped fresh tomato (or small can of diced tomatoes)
1/2 cup finely chopped scallions
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Grated cheddar cheese
Heat the peas and rice separately if cold. Combine lightly in the skillet or sauté pan, sprinkle the chopped tomato and scallions over all, and season with salt and pepper. Cover and heat through. Add grated cheddar cheese when serving.