Monday, September 22, 2008

Spicy Succotash

This spicy succotash is a great way to enjoy late summer vegetables like summer squash, corn and hot peppers. Although the following recipe is vegetarian, feel free to add 8 ounces of pre-cooked diced chicken, diced ham, sliced cooked kielbasa or even cooked shrimp. You control the spiciness by selecting the type and quantity of hot peppers. Make sure to use breaded okra, not plain, because the breading will prevent the okra from becoming slimy (and no one likes slimy succotash!). And don't worry when the breading starts crumbling off and mixing into the succotash, as that's supposed to happen while you cook this dish.

1 lb frozen breaded okra, defrosted
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels (defrosted)
1 cup fresh or frozen lima beans (defrosted)
8 oz summer squash (zucchini and/or yellow squash), cut lengthwise in half and then sliced crosswise into 1/4 inch thick half-moons
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper (you can use sweet red bell pepper, too)
1 or 2 diced fresh hot peppers (cayennes or jalapenos work well), seeds & membranes removed if preferred
1/2 cup chopped onion (yellow, sweet or red all work)
1 1/2 tsp minced fresh garlic
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
Pure olive oil (not extra virgin), for cooking (vegetable or peanut oil also work)

Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok and saute the okra on medium-high heat until it starts to brown. Add the onions, peppers and garlic, saute until soft. Add the corn, lima beans and squash,saute until the squash softens, onions are translucent and the okra has browned. You might need to add a little more oil during cooking. Season with salt & pepper, add any meat (chicken, ham, sausage or shrimp) and saute until everything is heated through. Serves 4 as a main dish, 6 to 8 as a side dish. ***Note: If you really hate lima beans, like my husband does, simply leave them out!

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company

PS: Instead of using plain salt and pepper to season this succotash, you can play around with different dry rubs and seasonings as a substitute for the salt & pepper. I like to use Knox Cracked Pepper Dry Rub for a touch of gourmet flair, or Durn Good Original Seasoning for down home southern flavor.

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