(THE EASY WAY)
Almost every time a new customer sees succotash on the menu, they’re surprised to find it’s a real dish rather than just a cartoon expletive – you know, ‘Suffering succotash!’ Well, I can tell you that it is indeed a real dish, and a very old one at that, going back to the early days when the American settlers and Native American Indians met up for the first Thanksgiving. It’s a simple combination of corn and beans. The most commonly used beans are lima beans. When I first came to the UK, I couldn’t find lima beans and no one knew what they were, so for nearly 20 years I did without them. Then one day while out shopping I discovered frozen broad beans, which are very similar to lima beans, and my quest to make succotash finally came to an end.
Many recipes use creamed corn but my family didn’t, and I like to stick to the recipe I grew up with. You can always add some double cream at the end if you want a creamier version.
1 small onion, chopped
1 small red pepper and 1 small green pepper, finely
2 x 325g cans of sweetcorn, drained (or about 600g
350g shelled broad beans
1 teaspoon cider vinegar or malt vinegar
100ml double cream (optional)
salt and pepper
knob of butter, to serve
Put the butter, onion and peppers in a pan. Add the sweetcorn and beans, then pour in the water, stir well and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Place over a moderate heat, bring to a simmer and cook gently, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, adding the vinegar at the end. If you are using the cream, this is time to add it. Simmer for 5 minutes, until the mixture has thickened, then check the seasoning and serve with a knob of butter on top.