---------- Recipe via Meal-Master (tm) v8.02
       Title: Cathe’s Red Beans and Rice
  Categories: Cajun, Entrees, Legumes, Cathe
       Yield: 15 servings
       3 lb Red kidney beans, dry               2 ts Oregano
            -or light red beans,                2 ts Garlic powder
            -or cranberry beans               1/4 ts Cayenne pepper, ground
            Water to cover                           -(or more)
     3/4 lb Ham trimmings, lean               1/2 ts Black pepper, ground
            -or 6 ham hocks                   1/2 ts Tabasco sauce (or more)
       6 c  Water (more as needed)              2 lb Manda’s sausage (spicy)
       2 c  Celery, finely chopped                   -or Jimmy Dean Mesquite
       2 c  Onion, finely chopped                    -link sausage, regular,
       2 c  Bell pepper, finely chopped              -sliced diagonally
       5    Bay leaves                               -into 1/2-inch pieces
       2 ts White pepper                        8 c  Rice, cooked (or more)
       2 ts Thyme                          
   Empty the beans into a 6-quart saucepan.  Run water over them, washing them
   with your hands and picking out any stones or bad beans. Drain and repeat
   until the water runs clear and has no sand in it.
   Add water to the pot to cover the beans by about 4 inches.  Place on a
   large burner and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce the heat slightly,
   boil gently for 3 minutes, remove from burner and cover. Let the covered
   pot sit, unopened, for an hour.  Drain and reserve the beans, discarding
   the juice.
   Place the ham pieces, 2 cups of water, the chopped vegetables and
   seasonings in a 12-quart saucepan or large dutch oven.  Stir well, cover
   and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce the heat and simmer until the
   meat is fork tender, about an hour, stirring occasionally.
   Remove the meat from the pan and tear it into small pieces.  Set it aside.
   (If using ham hocks, cover with water to cook.  The beans will have to cook
   down longer to reach their normal consistency. You may not need to add any
   extra water.)
   Add the drained beans and 2 cups water to the pan with the ham broth and
   vegetables.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce heat and simmer 30
   minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the sliced sausage and 2 cups more
   water if the beans are not covered with liquid and continue simmering until
   the beans start breaking into pieces, about 35 more minutes, stirring often
   to the bottom of the pan.
   If the beans start to scorch, do not stir.  Instead, immediately remove
   them from the heat and transfer them to another pot without scraping any
   scorched beans into the mixture.  Add the ham pieces or hocks and cook
   about 10 minutes more, stirring often. Do not let the mixture get dried out
   like refried beans, but keep it thicker than cream soup.
   To serve, mound 1/2 cup cooked rice in a bowl and cover with beans, ham and
   sausage pieces.  Serves 15 to 20 as a side dish.
   Cathe’s notes:
   *  Adapted from Chef Paul’s, page 190
   *  The original recipe had approximately the same amount of vegetables, ham
   and spices as above, but had just one pound of beans. I added one extra
   pound of sausage and 2 extra pounds of beans, but kept everything else the
   same.  The original recipe had proportionally much more cayenne pepper and
   Tabasco sauce. Normally I would make this a lot spicier than this, but not
   as spicy as the original recipe.