For the Beans:
1 bag dry baby red beans
1 green bell pepper
1 white onion
6 stalks of celery
8-10 cups chicken stock
1 lb Conecuh sausage
12 oz. smoked ham
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley
1/2 cup green onion
2 bay leaves
3 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon creole seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
Rice: enough for however many you are serving!
So to get things started, you need to boil about 4 cups of water and pour it over the dry beans. Let them soak for at least 5 hours. (you can do this over night)
Now, we are going to get our "Holy Trinity" together. As I mentioned, people have their own versions of this, but I like to stick to celery, onion, and green bell pepper.
Cut the ham into small cubes and the sausage into quarter pieces.
Next, grab your big pot and add a tablespoon of oil. When it gets hot, put in your chopped ham and saute' it for a few minutes. When it is browned, add your chopped Holy Trinity.
Allow this to get acquainted for a few minutes, then add your soaked beans, but not the water they were soaking in.
Mix all of this together, then add your chicken stock.
You want enough stock to cover the mixture completely, and then about an inch over.
Keep an eye on it, and stir it every so often. When the beans have become soft, use a spoon to smash them on the sides of the pot. You can do this as little or as much as you like. The more you smash, the thicker it becomes. (I like it pretty thick!)
When it reaches this point, you can start your rice. A little trick to give plain rice some flavor: add a chicken bullion cube to the pot while it cooks. Yum!
Also, now is a good time to add your fresh parsley. Mix it well, and simmer for another 30 minutes.
Ah! Finally, time to eat! Ladle some beans onto a plate or bowl, then scoop on some rice. Garnish with chopped green onions.