Always a favorite of Creoles and Cajuns as well as Southerners in general, the naturally smoky flavor of this pea blends well with a wide range of Louisiana smoked meats and sausages.

Heat the oil in a large pot, and add the onions, bell pepper and jalapeno; sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the hambone, peas, and seasonings and bring to a boil. In the meantime, slice the sausage into 1/2" pieces and brown in a heavy skillet. (If using bacon, don't cook it until it's crisp.) Add them to the beans.

Reduce to a simmer and cook one hour (adding the parsley about 50 minutes in), until the beans are creamy and tender. Add additional water if necessary. Check seasonings.

May be served over rice as a main course, as a side dish, or thinned with ham stock and served as a soup.

Yield: About 8 servings.  

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Chuck Taggart (e-mail chuck)