Sufferin’ Succotash !

Sufferin’ Succotash !

If I were any more of a geek, that – in fact, would be my preferred cursing exclamation. It expels the appropriate amount of exasperation… it’s food related… and when you say Sufferin’ Succotash… people know you mean business…

Over the years sitting on my grandmother’s porch, I became a pro at shelling limas, or butter beans (as my family refers to them). We’d sit for hours picking the tough little strings off both seams. Then with a quick squeeze and a flick of the thumb, the liberated disks would tumble into the waiting battered aluminum pot we were given to hold our bounty. A summer visit to my grandmother’s invariably ended with a large brown paper bag of bean pods and a quick shooing to the side porch.

After a failed start with Fort Hook limas earlier this spring, we finally got up and running with a pack of Baby Lima Beans. Although smaller and much more tender than the Fava-esque Fort Hook, the Lima bushes are really starting to produce the bean pods. Being the impatient type, I just couldn’t wait any longer to sink my fingers into a bushel of beans and start shelling.

Beans and corn – on the whole, a pretty uneventful side dish. One of the earliest Americana dishes, the name is a derivative of an Algonquin word meaning boiled corn. The finished dish is just as simple. When I started looking for a worthy recipe for succotash, they ranged from “lard, beans, corn salt and pepper” and Fannie Farmer, to something just this side of a cream laden vegetable casserole… that looked thoroughly disgusting.
Since most of the more current recipes contain some measure of cream, I decided to work towards that end.
Being in a Lactose Intolerant household, I will always create a recipe with a work around for the cream. Here I use chicken stock and lactose free milk and finish the dish with a slurry of flour and olive oil. It gives the succotash a simpler, lighter silkiness without having to contend with the heavy reduced creamy base.

Sufferin’ Succotash
Serves 2 to 4
1 Cup Fresh Baby Limas
1 Cup Fresh Cut Corn (1 ear of corn typically yields 1 cup of cut corn)
1/2 Cup Poblano Peppers – Finely Diced
1/2 Cup White Onion – Finely Diced
1 Tablespoon Butter Substitute (Smart Balance Healthy Heart is a good alternative)
1/2 Cup Chicken Stock
1/2 Cup Lactose Free Milk
1 Tablespoon Flour
2 Teaspoons Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Medium Sauce Pan
Small Bowl

  • Mix the flour and oil in the small bowl and set aside
  • On medium high heat, melt the butter substitute and add the peppers and onion – saute until the onions are clear
  • Add the corn and limas and saute until the limas turn bright green – about 4 minutes
  • Add the milk and stock, cover and reduce the heat to medium low
  • Cook for 15 minutes
  • Remove the lid and reduce the liquid to 1/3
  • Add the slurry and stir frequently until the liquid thickens to a silky coating on the vegetables
  • Remove from the heat and serve immediately

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