Monday, November 7, 2011

Thanksgiving Recipes - Part 1, Succotash

So my glorious editor at the illustrious StyleCoven.com Facebooked me the other night asking me if I knew of any delicious recipes for Thanksgiving. "Of course!" I said with a little laugh. "What did you have in mind. And by when do you need it?"

With the wonderful and fabulous 'cackle' that belongs only to Marie, she said "Blow me away with your genius."

That was pretty much it and the end of our conversation. Marie and I first met in Los Angeles several years ago at a Coven meeting celebrating Mabon in North Hollywood. I was buying a black dress for the ritual and she came right over to me, all 5' 2" of her, and pushed my bosoms up saying "Oh, good, darling! Now we need some fishing line to perk these girls up, and wear combat boots with it." Being a wide-eyed and aspiring fashion designer at the time, I immediately fell in love with her. But enough about that.

Thanksgiving began circa 1621 when the Plymouth colonists shared their autumn harvest meal with the local Native Americans, the most-famous of which is probably Squanto. He was the one to teach those stuffy Brits how to live off the land, harvest and plant, catch fish and what have you. Truthfully, the first Thanksgiving feast did have turkey, and more wild game birds such as duck and goose.

However, if you want to talk about authenticity, the big hit at the first Thanksgiving was venison! Not that there wasn't a lot of food, mind you. They had all sorts of things like pumpkins, eel, lobster, oysters, cod, bass, gooseberries, cranberries(but not cranberry sauce because they didn't have sugar), and lots more! They also didn't have stuffing, but they did use dried corn that was made into cornmeal and succotash, which is a kind of  thick soup that they ate all winter. Succotash itself is kind of a staple of New England cuisine, nowadays.  So why not use it as a new staple in your Thanksgiving feast? Not only is it rich in veggies, but it is oh-so-rustic-chic.

Many succotash recipes vary nowadays, but they will always contain corn and some kind of beans, usually Lima beans. I got this recipe from Martha Stewart, the ultimate Domestic Diva.

I told you it could be chic

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 medium red bell peppers, seeded, deveined, and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 medium zucchini, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 ten-ounce packages frozen lima beans, rinsed under warm running water and drained
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (4 ears)
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tablespoon picked fresh thyme leaves

Directions

  1. In a large skillet, heat oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion; cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add bell peppers, zucchini, lima beans, and corn. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in herbs, and serve.

Succotash is perfect for an appetizer or side dish. And the best part about it is that you don't have to wait til Thanksgiving to have it. This glorious dish can be made all winter, and is just perfect.