Alon might be the chef in the family, but he can't take credit for this meal's main event: wife Emily's red beans and rice. Her spicy, tender beans feed a large crowd, especially when served over fluffy, buttery rice.
Place a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium. Add bacon and olive oil, and cook, stirring often, until fat drippings are rendered, 3 to 5 minutes. Add onion, bell pepper, and celery, and cook, stirring often, until onion is translucent but not too broken down, 3 to 5 minutes. Add bay leaf, paprika, and hot sauce.
Drain, rinse, and sort soaked red beans; add beans and ham hock to pot. Pour in chicken stock, covering beans. Increase heat to high, and bring mixture to a boil, skimming off and discarding foam from surface. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until beans are tender, 3 to 4 hours. Remove ham hock about the last hour of cooking, and cut meat from bone. Chop ham meat, and add to beans, stirring to further break beans apart. (Check beans periodically to ensure they aren't boiling and sticking to the bottom of the pot.)
Remove and discard bay leaf. Stir in salt, sugar, and, if desired, more hot sauce just before serving. Serve beans over Emily's Rice. Garnish with scallions, if desired.
Domenica, Pizza Domenica, and Shaya, all in New Orleans