Huzzah, it's corn season! This year, we even tried to grow our own, and while we have a few very small ears, they certainly aren't ready for harvesting. Around here, the typical corn varieties we find are Butter and Sugar (alternating kernels of sunflower-yellow and butter colors), and Silver Queen (white-blonde kernels). We love them both and eat as much as we can from late July until the end of September when our local farmstands abound with ears.
A Couple in the Kitchen's own corn patch and Thai pepper plant
Straight off the cob is the perfect way to eat corn, in our estimation. But now and again we buy or cook too many ears and like to experiment with the leftovers. Some recent market finds mingled with our own garden veggies in our latest favorite side dish - succotash.
Fresh mise en place for Summerin' Succotash
The recipe is simple and the result, summery fresh goodness. From the farmers' market, we shelled whole lima beans and sawed the corn off of two freshly shucked ears. From our own garden, we dug up a couple of shallots, shredded a few basil leaves, and chopped two tiny Thai hot peppers (love how they grow end-up!). We ran across the street and "borrowed" a beautiful red tomato from our neighbor which we diced. A little bacon grease leftover from that morning's breakfast, some time over medium heat, and a dash of seasoning and we had a side dish worthy of the season, perfectly paired with smoked pork chops.
Cooking process - so easy!
Substitution tips: You can use olive oil instead of bacon grease to keep it meat-free. If you can't find fresh lima beans, use about a cup's worth of frozen. Jalapeno would work instead of the Thai pepper as well.
1 tablespoon bacon grease
2 shallots, peeled and sliced
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 ears corn, shucked, kernels removed
1 quart fresh lima beans, shelled (yielding about a cup)
1 large tomato, diced
2 Thai peppers, finely diced
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
13-15 basil leaves, shredded
Heat the bacon grease in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic powder and cook until they start to soften, about two minutes. Stir in the corn and beans and allow to cook until they are warmed through, about five minutes. Add the tomato and peppers and cook another 2-3 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and the cider vinegar. Remove from heat and toss in the basil leaves. Serve warm.
Grilled, smoked pork chop and "summerin' succotash"