ADVOCATE-TESTED RECIPE

Louisiana Red Beans

Serves 6 to 9. Recipe is by Corinne Cook.

1 pound dried red beans, rinsed and soaked ahead of time and drained

1 pound ham hock, sausage, baked ham pieces, pickled pork, smoked turkey or other meat

1 large onion, chopped

1 bell pepper, chopped

2 ribs celery, chopped

½ cup green onions

1 or 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Water

Pinch of thyme, if desired

1 bay leaf, optional

Black pepper and cayenne pepper to taste

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley if desired

Salt, to taste

Cooked white or brown rice

1. In a heavy Dutch oven, add drained beans, ham or meat of choice, onions, bell pepper, celery, green onions, garlic. Cover the beans with water.

2. Add thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to keep pot simmering but not a rolling boil; continue cooking for an hour.

3. Season black pepper and cayenne pepper to taste. Continue cooking another 1-1½ hours, or until beans are tender. Stir the pot to be sure the beans are not sticking. Add more water if necessary.

4. For creamier beans, before serving, mash some of the beans against the side of the pot.

5. Add fresh parsley and salt, if desired.

6. Serve over hot, steamed rice.