I really like red beans and rice, but my husband isn't a big fan. I figure this is a dish I can make and freeze for future uses, and it will re-heat at my office for a hearty and healthy (ish) lunch. It's also pretty inexpensive, so that's another bonus.
2 ham hocks
1 lb Andoullie sausage
1 lb red beans
1 yellow onion, minced
1 green pepper, minced
4 stalks of celery, minced
5 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp Cajun seasoning
1 tbsp dried parsley
6 cups chicken broth
1 cup water (I don't have anymore broth and it didn't quite cover everything.)
2 bay leaves
Start the night before by checking the beans for any stones, then put them in a large pot of water to soak over night. The next morning I boiled my beans for about ten minutes. Some people skip this step, but I've heard that kidney beans have to heat up to a certain temp to kill a toxin in them. Maybe I'm paranoid, but it's not worth it to me, so I boil them for a few minutes. Quick tip: DO NOT ADD SALT! It will make it so the beans will not get soft. You can add salt at the end, or do like I do and let people add their own to taste. I also like to serve this with extra pepper and hot sauce.
I put my ham hock in the slow cooker. Then the sausage. I cooked this sausage the day before simply because it was on clearance. Today was the sell by date, so I got them for half off. (My Momma taught me to bargain shop!)
When the beans have boiled for ten minutes drain them, then add them to the crock.
Now for the veggies. You need yellow onion , a green pepper, and about 4 stalks of celery, all minced. Each will yield about 1 cup. I also save the scraps from the onion and celery. I keep a gallon sized baggie in the freezer for these, and any carrot or parsley scraps from other dishes. When you have a whole baggie you can make veggie broth, or add a chicken carcass or two for chicken broth. I'll make each of these another day.
Add the garlic, Cajun seasoning, and parsley. Yes, I use the garlic in a jar. It's one of the few shortcuts I allow myself.