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Camellia Brand
Chef Melissa Martin's Mosquito Supper Club with her grandma's Magnalite pot in foreground

Mosquito Supper Club Monday’s Red Beans

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This recipe and photo are excerpted from Mosquito Supper Club by Melissa Martin (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2020. Photographs by Denny Culbert. Chef Melissa's restaurant, Mosquito Supper Club, celebrates authentic Cajun cuisine with family style dining in a repurposed historic house in New Orleans, Louisiana. Chef Melissa is the proud owner of her grandmother's old Magnalite pot, which is perfect for cooking up a big mess of beans. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 (1-pound) package Camellia Brand Red Kidney Beans
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 pound salt pork, diced small
  • 1 (1/2 pound) pork shank
  • 3 yellow onions, finely diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 1/2 quarts water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce (preferably Orignal Louisiana Hot Sauce), plus more as needed
  • Cooked rice, for serving
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion, for garnish
Yield:
6-8

Directions:

  1. Warm a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat for 2 minutes, then add oil and heat for 30 seconds.
  2. Add salt pork and cook, turning as needed to brown all sides, about 12 minutes.
  3. Add onion, celery and bay leaf; stir to combine.
  4. Add beans and water; cover and bring to a boil over high heat.
  5. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, uncovered, stirring often, until most of the water has boiled off or been absorbed and the beans are tender, 50-60 minutes. (As the beans cool, they will absorb more liquid, so having some liquid left over is fine; you don't want dry beans.)
  6. Mash some of the beans against the inside of the pot and stir them into the liquid.
  7. Season with salt, black pepper and cayenne.
  8. Serve beans over rice, garnished with parsley and green onion.

Chef Melissa's Notes:

You can make this recipe simple, or easily customize it. Lots of folks simmer their red beans with smoked sausage, a ham hock, or bacon. Choose one protein or a combination for extra flavor, or make your beans vegetarian by adding a chopped bell pepper or a couple of stalks of celery. With or without meat, beans can be enhanced with a handful of herbs, such as thyme, sage, savory, basil or marjoram, or whatever you find or forage. 

This recipe and photo are excerpted from Mosquito Supper Club by Melissa Martin (Artisan Books).