Food + Wine

Creamed Succotash with Tarragon

Succotash means something different to everyone you ask.  Some people add bacon, some add tomatoes, some bake it, some saute it.  But the two constants in all the recipes seem to be corn and lima beans.  It’s always been one of those ‘throw together’ side dishes I can rely on when I have nothing else on hand.  I make it when I don’t have any fresh produce around because I always have lima beans and corn in the freezer.

Yesterday I had some fresh corn on the cob, however, so I decided to have some fun with it.  The end result was like a cross between creamed corn and succotash and was very, very delicious.  The lima beans in this dish are starchy and almost creamy and since you’re adding the fresh corn at the end, it remains so sweet and crisp.  The contrast is beautiful.  The addition of fresh tarragon helped make this otherwise simple and homey side dish something elegant and special.  Enjoy!

*Creamed Succotash with Tarragon
-Saute 1 small onion, minced, in some olive oil until softened and beginning to brown.
-Add to that about 2 cups of lima beans (I used frozen, and 1 box equals 1 1/2 cups.  Be sure to defrost a bit before) and saute until softened.
-Add 4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced. Continue to cook until the garlic is soft.
-Season the veggies with some salt and cracked black pepper.
-While these are cooking, remove the kernels from 3 ears of corn and set aside.  Break 2 of the cobs in half and place in a pot.  Cover with a mixture of milk or cream and water*  (equal to 1 cup).  Season with salt, pepper and a little sugar.  Bring this up to a boil, then cover and simmer on low for about 20 minutes for optimum flavor.
-Minutes before you’re ready to serve, add your corn kernels to the pan and stir.
-Strain your corn ‘cream’ into the pan with the veggies and toss to coat.  Stir well and allow the cream to soak into the veggies and thicken a bit.
-Add 1 TB of unsalted butter, stir to coat.
-Mince a small handful of fresh tarragon leaves and stir into the mix.
-Taste to adjust your seasoning and enjoy!

(*The reason for the water here is to stretch your milk or cream.  It’s not necessary, but I often do it.)

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