RED BEANS AND RICE
(Adapted from a Paul Prudhomme recipe)
1 lb. dry red kidney beans
water to cover beans
2 ham hocks for flavoring (optional)
2-1/2 cups finely chopped celery
2 cups finely chopped onions
2 cups finely chopped green bell peppers
5 bay leaves
salt to taste (1-2 tsp.) added when beans are nearly done
2 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1-1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1-1/2 tsp. oregano leaves
1 tsp. red pepper (cayenne)
1 Tbsp. Tabasco sauce
1 lb. andouille smoked sausage or Polish sausage, cut into 3/4″ pieces
4 cups hot cooked rice
Sort and wash beans well. Cover beans with water 2″ above beans and soak overnight. Drain just before using.
Place ham hocks, beans, vegetables and seasonings in stockpot with ample water to cover beans by 1-2″. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 1-1/2 hrs. or until beans are tender but not falling apart.
Remove ham hocks and pick meat from bone.
Add salt to beans at this time. Add sausage and continue cooking until beans start to break up. Add ham meat and serve immediately over hot cooked rice.