Monday, 28 February 2011

Winter Succotash

Last summer I made Succotash and speculated about the seasonal changes in the dish. Here's a winter version of the same thing; a little richer and meatier to keep you warm in the cold weather, and reliant on dried vegetables - more of those dried corn and tomatoes, along with dried beans.

Again, if you don't have dried corn you could use frozen or canned, but be sure it is very well drained - almost dried out a bit - before you use it. The same goes for canned beans, which are much softer and soggier than home cooked ones. I wouldn't actually recommend them if you could avoid them, because the texture is important here.

You don't want it soggy, you want it almost crisp-chewy in texture. A certain amount of fat is important to achieve this texture. Normally I buy the leanest bacon I can find, but not in this case. I also save any bacon fat that accrues in the course of regular cooking, and some of it did come in handy here as I thought my bacon wasn't supplying quite enough grease on its own.

4 servings

30 minutes
prep time not including cooking the beans

Winter Succotash
1/2 cup dried tomatoes
2 cups dried corn
2 cups water

225 grams (1/2 pound) bacon
plus extra fat if needed
1 large onion
2 cups cooked white pea (navy) beans
2 teaspoons rubbed savory
1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
salt & pepper to taste

Snip up the tomatoes into bits, and put them with the corn and water into a pot. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minutes. Turn off the heat and let sit, covered, for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop the bacon. Peel and chop the onion. Cook the bacon in a large skillet until it is about half done, then add the onion and continue cooking until the onion is quite soft. Add the very well drained corn and tomatoes, and mix in well. Add the very well drained beans and mix in well. Continue cooking and stirring, until the corn and beans show signs of crisping and browning in spots. Add a little extra bacon or other fat if anything shows signs of sticking.

Mix in the seasonings, and continue cooking for just a minute or two longer, then serve.

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