NewOrleansOnline.com offers a recipe for red beans and rice, a culinary staple of New Orleans. The recipe calls for ingredients such as chopped ham, smoked sausage, ham hocks, onions and garlic. The beans are seasoned with thyme, parsley, bay leaves and cayenne pepper.
Set 1 pound of rinsed and cleaned dry red beans in a large pot, cover with water by 2 inches, and allow them to soak for at least eight hours. Drain, and reserve. Melt 3 tablespoons of bacon grease in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add 1/4 cup of chopped ham, and stir for a minute before adding 1 1/2 cups of chopped yellow onions, 3/4 cup of chopped celery and 3/4 cup of chopped green peppers. Season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of cayenne, and continue to stir and cook for about four minutes.
Add 3 bay leaves, 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley and 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme to the pot along with 1/2 pound of smoked sausage cut into 1-inch pieces and 1 pound of smoked ham hocks. Brown the meat for about four minutes, then add 3 tablespoons of chopped garlic, and stir for another minute. Add the beans and 10 cups of chicken stock or water to the pot, and stir well. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for about two hours until the beans begin to tenderize and thicken. Remove the pot from the heat, and smash some of the beans against the inside of the pot using a spoon.
Serve the beans over white rice, and garnish with sliced green onions.