Coconut milk “creamed” succotash

A Pyrex dish full of succotash

Photo by Ingvar Mattsson.

This is one of the vegetable dishes I made for our slightly reworked Thanksgiving dinner. I had originally intended to make some pecan (which is a hickory, after all) nut cream for this, but ran out of steam. Coconut milk is not quite the same, but it turned out delicious anyway.

Between the chaos of cooking a festive dinner and dead batteries in my camera, I didn’t get process shots for any of these dishes.

Coconut milk “creamed” succotash

  • 14 oz. (400mL) can coconut milk
  • Red and green chiles, halved with most seeds and ribs removed, then sliced — I had mildish Jalapeño, so used a red one and a green one
  • Half a large colored sweet pepper, chopped into roughly kidney bean sized pieces
  • A largish leek, sliced thinly
  • 3 or 4 green onions, again cut into roughly kidney bean sized pieces
  • 14 oz. (400g) can corn — I actually used a 326g/11.5 oz. one, weird size but enough
  • 14 oz. (400g) can kidney beans
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • Some crushed red pepper, because those Jalapeños were really mild!

This was purposely easy to put together. The coconut milk I used was pretty thin, so I simmered it a while in a deep skillet to reduce it a bit, stirring and scraping the sides down occasionally. When it was about the consistency of light cream, I added the sweet peppers and chile, and let that simmer for about 5 minutes. Then I added the salt, corn, crushed red pepper, and sliced leek, and let it go another 5 minutes or so. When the leek was starting to soften but not falling apart, I threw in the can of kidney beans and green onion.  (I saved the vibrant-colored beans for last, hoping they wouldn’t turn the coconut milk too red that way; otherwise, they’d have gone in with the corn.) Let it simmer and thicken a few minutes longer, and it’s done.

On the whole, I probably should have let the coconut milk thicken a bit more before putting the veggies in, for a thicker sauce. But, it was still delicious.

ETA: The term “succotash” is Anglicized from Narragansett.  Looking into it, the Tsalagi equivalent would be selu asuyi tuya (corn mixed with beans)–also very likely to be cooked with winter squash, becoming iya tuya disuyi selu.

Thanks to WCU’s Cherokee Studies Podcast Blog and 25 Cherokee Recipes for the language lesson. 🙂

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