Succotash won’t suffer for summer’s leftovers

Kernels of sweet corn, pulses of overgrown string beans. Both are the seeds of a meal that practically makes itself, or so I thought, putting away dinner’s leftover pork ribs, steamed beans and corn on the cob.

A meal in its own right, succotash also is a fitting repository for those odds and ends of the summer garden. It can accommodate that half of zucchini that wasn’t sauteed for pasta or frittata, that half of tomato sliced for sandwiches or burgers. Those sliced scallions and chilies that evaded one last taco.

And while I could happily fry up some bacon strips for this purpose, it’s also a perfect use for drippings, particularly rendered from high-quality meat, or so I recently persuaded a friend with a can of bacon grease on hand.

This recipe from the Chicago Tribune dispenses with slicing the kernels from the corn cobs, making a quick recipe that much speedier. The Tribune’s recipe testers suggest serving it over cooked rice, but I think quinoa or couscous would be a nice backdrop, too.

Tribune News Service photo

Corn and Bacon Succotash

Cook 6 strips of bacon in a skillet until crisp, for about 7 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate; crumble when cool.

To drippings in skillet, add 1 onion, peeled and chopped; cook, stirring, until lightly browned, for 7 minutes. Add 1/2 red bell pepper, cored and chopped; 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced; 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme; and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add 1 cup chicken broth; cook, stirring up any browned bits, for 2 minutes.

Add 4 ears corn, each cut into thirds, and 2 cups fresh lima beans; cook, turning corn often, until tender, for about 5 minutes. Stir in cooked bacon. Serve over cooked rice.

Makes 4 servings.

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