Summer Succotash

We have a Succotash recipe that we really like. It’s heavy on cream and uses frozen corn and lima beans. It is a hearty dish that works really well throughout the cooler weather months. In the summer though we like something lighter and something that makes use of the treat of fresh corn. After poking at several recipes over the years I’ve settled into this one.

Summer Succotash
Servings: 8-10
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp. liquid from canned butter beans
  • 3 tsp. lemon juice
  • 5 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 cup finely chopped shallots (2-3 shallots)
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, cut into 1/4″ dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 (15-oz) cans butter beans, drained and rinsed
  • 8 ears of fresh corn, kernels cut from the cobs
  • 2 Tbsp. minced fresh chives
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Combine the liquid from the canned beans and the lemon juice together. Set it aside.
  2. Set a dutch oven over medium-heat and add the butter. When the butter is melted add the shallots and pepper, sprinkle with 1/2″ teaspoon of salt and allow to cook until softened. That will take 4 to 5 minutes; give it a stir once in a while to reduce browning.
  3. Stir in the garlic and cayenne; cook until it is fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute.
  4. Add the beans and corn; stir them in and reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the corn and beans are heated through, stirring occasionally.
  5. Give the reserved liquid mixture a quick stir and then add to the pan. Stir constantly for 1 minute to distribute the liquid.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat and taste. Add the chives along with salt and pepper to adjust the taste. Serve up.

Notes:
This recipe is built off of one from Cook’s Illustrated. Since we primarily cook it for our Saturday Night gatherings the quantities are adjusted. I’ve also swapped a couple of ingredients for ones that work better for us.

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Farro and Cauliflower Salad

My introduction to farro might have been almost a decade ago however I was reintroduced to it earlier this year via the local megamart deli counter. They sell a farro salad with finely chopped vegetables that was quite tasty. Once I located a good source of farro I started experimenting with combinations for salads until I found one I liked.

Farro and Cauliflower Salad
Servings: 6-8
Prep time: 20 minute
Total time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 head cauliflower
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1 red pepper
  • 4 oz. shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh herbs such as chives or parsley
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups cooked farro
  • kosher salt and ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Cut the cauliflower into small pieces, no bigger than 1/2″. Toss with the tablespoon of olive oil, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, and transfer to a baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Prep the rest of your veggies. I quarter the zucchini, removed the seeds and then cut it into 1/4″ pieces. Same goes for the red pepper. I also cut the shredded carrots into smaller pieces.
  3. Toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat until just fragrant. Transfer to your serving bowl and set aside.
  4. Make a basic vinaigrette from the shallots, mustard, vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Combine farro, veggies and herbs with the pine nuts. Toss to combine and then drizzle with the Vinaigrette. Toss some more until well combined. Enjoy.

Notes:
Both the farro and cauliflower can be prepared in advance, even the day before.

Shrimp Stir-Fry II

It takes longer to cook a pot of white rice than it does to make this dish. So start your rice and then take your time prepping your ingredients. Once the rice is cooked throw a clean towel between the pot and cover to absorb steam. Then spend 3-5 minutes cooking the shrimp.

Shrimp Stir-Fry II
Servings: 2
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 13 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tsp. dry sherry
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. coarsely chopped chives
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (about 1 tsp.)
  • 1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp. plus 1 Tbsp. peanut oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. granulated sugar
  • kosher salt & black pepper

Directions:

  1. Combine the sherry and soy sauce in a bowl; add shrimp and toss until coated with the liquid. Set aside for 10 minutes to marinate. Combine the chives, garlic, ginger and 1 tsp. peanut oil in a bowl; set aside. Mix water, sesame oil, Worcestershire, sugar and cornstarch together; set aside.
  2. Put the remaining 1 Tbsp. peanut oil in a non-skillet and heat over high heat, 3-4 minutes. Add the shrimp in a single layer and sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt. Cook, tossing frequently, for about 1 minute. Move the shrimp to the edge of the pan.
  3. Add the chive mixture and press into a flat disk; cook until fragrant then toss/stir into shrimp.
  4. Quickly remix the cornstarch mixture and add to the skillet. Mix in with the shrimp and cook until it thickens, 30-40 seconds.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and serve over rice. Add freshly ground black pepper and/or Sriracha sauce to taste.

Notes:
I try to buy already deveined shrimp because deveining shrimp is one of my least favorite kitchen tasks. Just remember that you are removing the vein on the outside curve of the shrimp, not the one that is on the inside curve. The outside one is the intestine, the inside one is just a regular blood vessel. For a nice visual on how to devein shrimp visit SimpleRecipes.com