This week, when we unpacked our CSA, our daughter decided to practice her script by making us a helpful list. Our share featured corn and three kinds of peppers: mild green peppers, spicy poblanos, and the sweet cubanelle. This, along with more red potatoes (to join those yet uneaten from last week), a quart of tomatoes, peaches, beets, cucumbers and always useful garlic. Oddly, there were no greens this week and I was sort of relieved. My husband took a quick look at the pile of produce and said, “I think I’ll make a succotash”.
What, exactly, is a succotash? And why is it always, “sufferin”? Well, according to the great brain that is Wikipedia, the word succotash derives from the Native American language Narraganset, where it was called, msíckquatash meaning “boiled corn kernels”. Popular during the depression with many variations, a true succotash is a dish that contains both corn and beans. In the Northeast, kidney beans are used whereas in the South, lima beans are preferred. We like to use black beans in our succotash and serve it with tacos.
This recipe is a departure from the true succotash because it doesn’t contain any beans, and is meant to be a quick and creative way to use up your CSA vegetables when you find yourself with a lot of corn and peppers. You can also add zucchini and tomatoes – whatever you find in your share. Once you have whipped up a batch, it’s extremely versatile. Serve it one night alongside grilled fish or, maybe a nice skirt steak. Mix the leftovers with rice for a delicious lunch the next day. And if you still have more, add them to tacos!
1 Tablespoons safflower oil
1/2 onion chopped into large dice
1 poblano pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped into large dice
1-2 red cubanelle peppers, cored, seeded, and chopped into large dice
2 cups corn kernels (sliced from 2-3 ears)
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
1-2 Tablespoons lime juice
2 Tablespoons of minced cilantro
Salt and pepper
1. Heat oil in a heavy skillet (preferably cast-iron) over MEDIUM-HIGH heat until smoking. Add the diced onion and pepper, and saute at MEDIUM-HIGH until they begin to brown and smell sweet (5-7 minutes).
2. Turn the heat to HIGH and add the corn, tossing with the onion and pepper. Saute for a minute then add the cumin, coriander, and a couple large pinches of salt and a couple grindings of pepper. Continue sauteing on HIGH until brown flecks appear on the corn (3-5 minutes).
3. Remove from the heat and add the lime juice. Toss with the cilantro and adjust the seasonings.