The traditional succotash, with its combination of corn, beans and squash has a humble history as a staple dish for early Native Americans and struggling colonial immigrants. But, it can be transformed into spectacular main meal or side dish by adding stunning extra ingredients. Traditionally salted pork belly or bacon is added to boost the favor. The richness can be boosted by adding butter, yogurt or cream. Tomatoes, pimentoes, mushrooms, black-eyed peas and a range of beans and other ingredients can be added. But, below are some real luxury versions with some wild ingredients that transform this dish from basic to galactic proportions in the stars.
Rinse and drain butter beans and then add to 4 cups of water in a saucepan, with 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring the pan to the boil and then lower the heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes until the beans are just tender. Drain and set aside. Place the shrimp in a small bowl with one tablespooon of oil, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and toss to coat the shrimp evenly. Heat a grill pan or grill over moderate to high heat and cook the shrimp 4-5 minutes, until shrimp just turn pink. Transfer to a plate, and loosely cover with aluminum foil to keep the shrimp warm. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over moderate heat. Add the okra and saute for 2-4 minutes, until lightly browned. Stir in onion, the chillies, okra and the vegetables, and cook for 2-3 minutes until vegetables are just tender. Add the corn and tomato and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until corn is just tender. Next, mix in the butter, shrimp, basil and butter beans. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until butter has melted and the mixture is evenly heated. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
Melt the butter in a large sauté pan and fry the leeks, corn and fava beans for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Slice the lobster into bite-size pieces and add to pan, and sauté until warmed through. Reduce the heat and cook gently for 5-10 minutes to blend the flavors. Season salt and pepper, top with parsley and serve.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy pan. Fry the onion and turkey sausage for about 5 minutes. Add all the remaining ingredients apart from the Parmesan cheese and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes until most of the liquid evaporates. Serve immediately into bowls, adding a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese which will melt on top.
for the Parsley Sauce
Prepare the parsley sauce by adding all the ingredients to a food processor or blender and pulsing until smooth. Cut the kernels from the ears of corn, or defrost the frozen kernels and set aside. Heat the oil in a large skillet or heavy deep frying pan over moderate heat. Add the onions and fry, stirring once or twice for about 2-3 minutes, until just softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the corn kernels, zucchini, Lima beans, and tomatoes to the pan and cook until all the vegetables are just tender (generally about 7-10 minutes. To prepare the scallops, spray a large nonstick skillet or grill pan with cooking spray, and heat it thoroughly until moderate to high heat. While the pan is heating pat the scallops dry with paper towels and sprinkle them liberally with salt and pepper. Saute the scallops over high heat until they are just cooked inside (generally about 5-6 minutes), turning once. Add the vinegar and basil to the succotash, and the grilled scallops at the last minute. Serve the scallop succotash garnished with the parsley sauce.
for the Seafood
Prepare the succotash by melting the butter in large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the garlic and fry for about 30-60 seconds. Lower the heat to low and add the corn kernels, beans, and cream and simmer gently for about 8-10 minutes. Mix in the chives and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and adjjust the thickness by adding some extra cream if needed. Set aside and keep warm. To prepare the seafood heat the butter in a large heavy frying pan or Dutch oven over moderate to high heat. Then, fry the garlic for 30 seconds, add the shrimp, lobster, scallops and fry while stirring for about 1-2 minutes. Add the bourbon and ignite. Transfer shellfish to plate. Return the skillet to the heat, add the parsley, tomatoes, salt and peppers. Cover and cook over high heat until tomatoes plump and begin to give off juice (generally about 3 minutes). Add the clams or mussels, and return the cooked shrimp and lobster to the pan. Re-cover and cook for about 2 minutes until the mussels have opened. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve by placing a ring of succotash on each plate and a serving of seafood in center. Top with fresh herbs and cheese if desired.
Melt some butter in a medium size saucepan over moderate heat. Saute the chopped onion until transparent. Then, add the rest of the ingredients (including the optional tarragon and other herbs). Simmer gently uncovered, until the cream starts to thicken the mixture. This generally takes about 10 minutes. Stir the mixture gently every few minutes. This dish is delightfully creamy, rich and satisfying.
for the Spiced Goat Milk
To prepare the spiced goat milk, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Slice the top off the head of garlic and then wrap it in aluminum foil and roast for about 30 minutes until tender and aromatic. Cool a little and then pop the roasted cloves out and set aside. Pound the spices in a mortar and pestle into a fine paste. Then, place the spice paste into a medium-size saucepan and gently dry roast the spice mix on a medium to low heat for several minutes. Then, add the goat milk, cinnamon stick, chili flake and roasted garlic puree. Simmer gently until the volume reduces to about 2 cups.
Heat the canola oil in a deep, heavy frying pan or Dutch oven over moderate to high heat until the oil glistens. Add the zucchini, corn kernels, squash, green pepper, red pepper and onion. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the ginger and jalapeno, and stir vigorously while frying for another 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock, beans and spinach, cooking only until the spinach wilts. Then add the reduced spiced goat milk and mix gently. Taste and adjust the seasoning with vinegar, salt and pepper. Add the peppermint and other fresh herbs and serve hot.
Combine the vinegar, soy sauce and vegetable stock together in a small bowl. Add some olive oil to a large deep skillet or Dutch oven and heat it to a high temperature. Add the onion and cook until it just starts to soften (about 2-3 minutes). Lower the heat to moderate, and then and the tofu, garlic and soy sauce mixture. Fry for about 3 minutes, adding a little more stock if needed. Lower the heat to low and stir in the edamame, tomatoes, corn and scallions. Sauté the vegetables for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Increase the heat up to moderate and cook for several minutes to induce a rich and concentrated caramel taste. Add the red pepper flakes, some fresh herbs and season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.