Grilled Corn Succotash

“Sufferin’ succotash!”  If you’re a Baby Boomer, those words conjure up the image of Sylvester the cat with spittle flying from his mouth.  Following closely behind is the memory of Tweety Bird saying, “I tawt I taw a puddy tat!  I did! I did!” We sure loved our Looney Tunes cartoons back in the day.

The only suffering I associate with this succotash, a Wolfgang Puck creation, is waiting for the first fresh corn of the season to be available.  Since both the corn and a red pepper need to be roasted, I usually do them under the broiler.  Whenever I roast red peppers, I cut them in half for broiling so that I don’t have to keep turning them over.  I don’t know why I ever did it any other way, but I did until I wised up!

This tasty succotash will enhance anything you pair it up with, from a hamburger to steak or chicken.  I make it several times each summer, and it goes quickly every time I make it as the whole family enjoys it.  Although I’ve never made it with frozen corn, it would make a reasonable substitute during winter months when fresh corn isn’t available.

Any way you make it, this succotash will make it easy to meet your 5-a-day fruit and vegetable quota.  It’s delicious and you can feel good about making and eating it.  Definitely a win-win!

Grilled Corn Succotash

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Ingredients

  • 4 ears corn, shucked, soaked in ice water 1 hour
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 pound cooked lima beans (I used frozen)
  • 4 tbl. unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium rib celery cut into 1/4″ dice
  • 1 medium Vidalia onion, cut into ¼” dice
  • 1 tbl. brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves or 1/4 tsp. dried
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon, approx. 1 tablespoon
  • Pinch of ground red pepper
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbl. chopped parsley

Directions

Cook the corn on the grill or under the broiler, turning frequently, until the kernels are uniformly golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes.  Set the corn aside until cool.

Meanwhile, cut the bell pepper in half and place it cut side down on a cooking sheet and place sheet under the broiler until the pepper halves are blistered and brown, about 5 minutes.  Transfer the bell pepper to a heavy-duty sealable plastic bag to cool 5 minutes.

Stand an ear of corn on a stable work surface, stem end down, holding it with one hand by its tip.  Cut off the kernels close to the cob in strips, cutting down and away from you and rotating the ear slightly after each cut.  Transfer the kernels to a mixing bowl; repeat with the remaining ears of corn.

Remove the charred skin from the bell pepper with your fingers.  Carefully slit open the pepper with a knife; remove the stem, seeds and veins.  Cut the pepper into ¼” dice; add to the corn.

Melt butter in a heavy skillet over medium-low heat.  Add the garlic, celery and onion; cook gently, stirring frequently, until tender and lightly browned, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the brown sugar, thyme, bay leaf, lemon juice, red pepper, lima beans, and salt and pepper to taste.  Cook 3 minutes more.  Stir into the corn and bell pepper mixture.  Garnish with parsley.

Source: Slightly adapted from a Wolfgang Puck recipe

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