Wednesday, January 20, 2010

North by North West Delights

I was introduced to wonderful dish on Saturday family post-xmas gift exchange & dinner in Alexandria. The dish has mysterious name succotash, apparently coming from native American tribe of Narragansett language, meaning "boiled kernels"; the tribe used to live in north east part of the States, around today's Rhode Island / Connecticut area. Because of the relative unexpensiveness and versatility, the dish got really popular during the Great Depression (I have read while researching the topic). Well, it is kind of proper timing for rediscovery I guess.

Anyway, it was so good and had that spring healthy feel about it that I just had to try it. There is endless choice of versions on internet, so after going through it for a while to get a basic idea, I just improvised in kitchen. I started with sauteing onions and garlic with chopped bacon and turkey ham, than i added bag of frozen corn kernels and lima beans, small cup of leftover heavy cream, about the same amount of water, some freshly ground salt&pepper, thyme, parsley, pinch of nutmeg and splash of lemon juice to balance the sweetness of the corn. I was cooking all that in deep wok-like pan, so I just covered it than and let it simmer for about 20 min, till the beans were done.

It made a quite simple and very tasty light dinner, with toasted and garlic-smeared wholegrain baguette on side.

Even W. cheerfully ate his portion of not-so-favorite limas :)

While simmering the above dish, I gave another try to the recipe for delicious nutty bundt cake I got from M.

Well, it was delicious when he made it for us in his new house in Laramie, but my previous attempts to replicate were not so great. I was not going to give up on that one though.
So, I whipped 5 yolks with a mug of raw sugar, added mug of heavy cream to it and folded in very soft 5 egg whites snow (as M. insisted). Meanwhile, on side, I mixed 2 mugs of all purpose flour with a mug of ground nuts, teaspoon of baking powder and chopped fistful of dark chocolate chips and than whisked all that into the egg yumminess, with final touch of some vanilla&lemon extract and Jamaican rum.
I had form ready (greased and floured) to fill and oven heated to 400F. As M. advised, after couple minutes I lowered that to 355F & set timer to 30 min (I added about 15 more min latter, but I wanted to be on safe side, last time I definitely overdone the baking). And, voila, I did it right this time.

It was perfect, light and moist and sweet just enough. Thanks M.!

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