Saturday, September 12, 2009

Simply Sublime Succotash

Succotash is a time-honored tradition in my family. As a child I remember that every year around harvest time we would head to Great Aunt Gen’s and partake of her wonderful Succotash. My childhood memory of this particular family gathering is one of my fondest. The table was set with its finery and the many family members gathered around awaiting the steaming tureen of Succotash. As soon as it arrived and was served the only sounds were the ooohhhs and aaaahhs of appreciation. It was a grand occasion and Great Aunt Gen beamed.

My mother carried on the family Succotash tradition. Mother used to make Succotash as soon as the corn came in. I’d stop in and she’d be cutting corn off the cob and frying the bacon she would crumble and use as a garnish. I asked my mother to write this recipe down, and I am sorry to say that she never did, much to my disappointment.  Now I carry on the family Succotash tradition. Last night when the ears of corn arrived fresh from the garden it was clear what needed to be made----Succotash. After making a few notes, I began as I have many times before, only this time, I was writing the recipe down!

Egg salad sandwiches were my mother's preferred sandwich with Succotash, but here we break from tradition. While the Succotash is simmering, I make our sandwich of choice--Fried Egg Sandwich.  With slices of toasted homemade bread lavishly spread with homemade mayonnaise and Dijon mustard, thick slices of maple cured bacon, lettuce fresh from the garden and a fried egg, this sandwich is both satisfying and the perfect accompaniment to a bowl of Succotash. Add some homemade dill pickles and a glass of cider and you have a meal both satisfying and sublime.
This recipe will generously serve two people. There will be no leftovers.

Notes for this recipe:  Lima Beans:  I use frozen, but if you can find fresh, go for it!  Seasoning--this time of year I like to use summer savory fresh from the garden. It is a difficult herb to find, but worth the hunt if you can find it fresh. Thyme sprigs make a good substitute, and are much easier to find. I generally toss in a few fresh sprigs of either herb along with a bay leaf, a generous grind of white pepper and some kosher salt. 

Simply Sublime Succotash
6 ears corn-on-the cob
Olive oil
1 medium onion
8 ounces frozen baby lima beans
Fresh thyme or summer savory
Kosher salt
White pepper, freshly ground

Shuck the ears of corn being sure to remove all the silk. Next cut the corn off the cob. Place the wide end of the cob on a cutting board. Firmly hold the cob by the pointed end and using a very sharp knife cut the kernels off the cob. A slight back and forth motion with the knife is most effective. When the kernels are off, scrape the cob with the knife to release the “milk” and remove any of the remaining kernel. Set aside. Peel a medium sized onion and dice it. 

Set a heavy quart pot on the stove and turn the heat to medium. Pour in a couple tablespoons of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion and cook until slightly golden brown. Add the corn and about 8 ounces of frozen baby lima beans.  Give the mixture a good stir to combine. Now add milk, enough to cover the corn and lima bean mixture.  Add the thyme or summer savory and bay leaf.  Stir to combine.  Let this mixture simmer gently for about 20 minutes.  Do not allow the Succotash to boil.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

1 comment:

  1. Mmm. I did make fresh corn chowder this past week, but the farmer's market still has corn, and this sounds good. Don't know about lima beans, though... maybe Haymarket will have something?