Not sure if I can review my own recipe....it is OK to cut the cooking time to 3.5 or 4 hours as someone else suggested. Also, if you can find authentic tasso (can be ordered on the internet if you search for it), it makes a great substitution for the ham hock. If you use tasso, you need to cut back or eliminate the creole seasoning since tasso provides a lot of heat along with flavor. Andouille is a good substitute for smoked sausage as someone suggested, but again you may need to cut back on the creole seasoning depending on how much spice is in the sausage. Celery is really optional, I often don't use it.
Finally, someone commented on it being too soupy. Cutting the water back by a cup is OK, but if you cook it the full 5 hours it gets a little thicker. In addition, I recommend using high quality medium grain sticky rice (the Japanese rice often used for sushi). New Orleanians typically use long grain rice, but the sticky rice is delicious and gives it a much thicker, non soupy, texture. Sticky rice gives it a delectable porridge-like consistency.
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Not sure if I can review my own recipe....it is OK to cut the cooking time to 3.5 or 4 hours...