Melt shortening in 2 qt. saucepan. Add onions and celery and cook until tender. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper and bay leaves. Simmer about 15 minutes. Remove bay leaves. Drain black-eyed peas. Combine ham, peas, rice and tomato mixture in a 2 qt. covered casserole. Bake at 325 degrees F for 20 minutes. Remove top, cover with cheese and return to oven until cheese is melted. Note: This is an excellent way to use the remains of a large ham.
By Robin from Washington, IA
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