Grilled Corn Succotash

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Wolfgang PuckBased on a mixture of sweet corn and fresh shell beans, the dish takes its name from msikwatach, a Narragansett tribal word for boiled corn kernels. Add not only the essential lima beans or fava beans but also maybe some roasted red bell pepper, diced sun-ripened tomato and even diced zucchini, and you have the perfect, colorful, flavorful expression of summer's bounty. It's all about the best produce your market has to offer, with corn as the star.

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Ingredients

  • 4 ears white corn, soaked in ice water for 1 hour
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 C. shelled fresh fava beans or lima beans
  • 4 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 medium stalks celery, pale parts only, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 medium white onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 Tbs. minced garlic
  • 1 Tbs. brown sugar
  • 1/2 Tbs. minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbs. chopped parsley

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Directions

Build a fire in an outdoor grill or preheat a broiler. Strip off the husks and remove the silk from the ears of corn. Cook the corn on the grill or under the broiler, turning it frequently with tongs, until the kernels are uniformly golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. At the same time, cook the bell pepper on the grill or over the broiler, turning it frequently, until its skin is evenly blistered and browned, about 5 minutes.

Transfer the bell pepper to a heavy-duty sealable plastic bag to cool for about 5 minutes. Set the corn aside until it is cool enough to handle. Steadying the stem end of an ear of corn on a stable work surface and holding it with one hand by its tip, slanting down and away from you, use a sharp knife to 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 and repeat with the remaining ears of corn. With your fingertips and, if necessary, a paper towel, remove the charred skin from the bell pepper. With a small, sharp knife, carefully slit open the pepper, taking care to avoid any steam, and remove and discard the stem, seed cluster, veins and any stray seeds. Cut the pepper into 1/4-inch dice and add to the corn. Bring a small pan of water to a boil and fill a mixing bowl with ice cubes and water. Add the fava beans or lima beans to the boiling water and cook them until just tender, about 2 minutes.

Drain and immediately transfer them to the ice water, leaving them to chill for about 2 minutes. Drain well. If using fava beans, peel off and discard their leathery skins to reveal the pale green beans inside. Set aside. In a heavy saute pan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the celery, onion and garlic and saute gently, stirring frequently, until tender but not browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar, thyme, bay leaf, lemon juice, cayenne and salt and pepper to taste and continue to cook for 3 minutes more. Stir in the corn kernels and cook for 3 minutes more. Stir in the fava beans or lima beans and cook until the mixture is uniformly heated through, about 2 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.

Yield: 6 servings

(Chef Wolfgang Puck's new TV series, "Wolfgang Puck's Cooking Class," airs Sundays and Wednesdays on the Food Network. Write Wolfgang Puck in care of Tribune Media Services Inc., 2225 Kenmore Ave., Suite 114, Buffalo, NY. 14207.)

©2004 WOLFGANG PUCK WORLDWIDE, INC.

DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.

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