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.

Pork Tenderloin Wellington

I made this for Christmas Eve dinner with friends and it came out lovely. I wanted a pork based version of the classic Beef Wellington; surprisingly I didn’t find any clear examples of a Pork Wellington that used a traditional duxelle in my searches. So I combined a bit of this and a smidge from that for something that came out looking impressive and was really flavorful to boot.

[Pork Wellington]

Pork Wellington with roasted potatoes and cinnamon braised carrots.

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Cheese Bread with Caramelized Shallots

Ted made this to go with slow cooker chicken & mushrooms. It was very good. More than very good. As with many quick breads it is dense and great for sopping up gravy. We served it with some red pepper jelly we bought; that combination was very tasty.

Cheese Bread with Caramelized Shallots

We’re going to try making Welsh Rabbit with the leftover bread. I suspect it will be amazing.

Cheese Bread with Caramelized Shallots
Servings: 1 loaf
Prep time: 45 minutes
Total time: 90 minutes plus time to fully cool

Ingredients:

  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, unsalted
  • 15 oz. all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. finely ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. table salt
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, cold
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, cold
  • 1 egg, cold
  • 4 oz. smoked cheddar, grated on large side of a grater
  • 4 oz. smoked Havarti, cut into 1/4″-1/2″ cubes

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prep pan with cooking spray. Place 1/2 the grated cheddar in the bottom of the pan.
  2. Over lowest heat in small pan slowly caramelize shallots in olive oil & paprika (mixed together). ~30 minutes. Strain the shallots, retaining the olive oil. Set aside the shallots to cool. Add the butter to the olive oil, allow it to melt and then cool for approx. 5 minutes.
  3. Whisk together the dry ingredients. Add cubes of Havarti and cooled shallots, breaking shallots into flour with fingers so they are evenly distributed.
  4. Combine buttermilk, sour cream and egg and mix well. Pour the butter and olive oil into the wet ingredients. The butter will solidify into small bits.
  5. Plunge wet ingredients into dry. Stir only until combined with spatula.
  6. Transfer batter into the pan; distribute evenly. Sprinkle remaining cheddar over the top of the bread.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes. Check for doneness with an instant-read thermometer; the bread should reach 195°F when it is fully baked. Cool 5 minutes and depan. Allow to cool completely before slicing.

Notes:
Ted used a cheese quick bread from The New Best Recipe: All-New Edition as inspiration for this recipe.