This recipes makes you think you've slipped away to New Orleans for a little bit. Maybe I should be like the Zatarrans commercial and throw beads at the dinner table!! Anways, this is a no shorcut, Louisiana classic. It's too spicy for my kiddos, even without the jalapeno so you will have to adjust the creole seasoning if you would like to feed the whole family.
1 pound dried red beans, soaked overnight
1 box chicken broth
1 pound andouille sausage, cut into rounds (use andouille, no other will get the authentic taste)
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped (optional)
8 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp. creole seasoning , or to taste (recipe follows)
6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 ham hock
4 cups cooked rice
Creole Seasoning: (mix together and store in dry, covered container, makes a lot)
1 TBS onion powder
1 TBS garlic powder
1 TBS dried oregano
1 TBS dried basil
1/2 TBS dried thyme
1/2 TBS black pepper
1/2 TBS white pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 TBS paprika
Place the beans and the chicken broth in slow cooker. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the sausage in the skillet; remove from the skillet with slotted spoon and transfer to the slow cooker. Reserve drippings. Add onion, green pepper, jalapeno and garlic to the drippings. Cook and stir until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer everything from the skillet to slow cooker.
Season mixture with creole seasoning. Add the fresh basil leaves and ham hock. Cover and cook on low for at least 8 hrs or until beans are tender. Remove ham hock. If the bean mixture seems to watery, take the lid off and set heat to High, mash a few beans, stir and cook until desired creamy mixture.
Note: chop everything and make the seasoning the night before so your recipe will come together much faster in the morning.