Crispy Fish, marinated in spiked buttermilk, coated with organic cornmeal is pan fried and served with a delicious Succotash cooked in a skillet with Lima Beans, Fresh Corn, Zucchini and Caramelized Shallots.
A wonderful dinner – a New England feast!
Succotash celebrates one of my favorite vegetables of summer, the sweet corn that’s in season right now. Lima beans are full of protein while corn packed a high concentration of starch. Combined, they made a wholesome, nutritious meal. It’s loaded with fiber, plant-based protein, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.
A little trip for this blog:
Last weekend, while late summer temperatures were quite mild, I took a weekend trip to Narraganset, Rhode Island. I knew I would be checking out the fish at the markets in Galilee (an authentic working fishing village) – and deciding what to cook for my next blog. Fish coated in cornmeal came to mind… and I thought a quick vegetable sauté would be the perfect accompaniment.
A “Succotash” medley I thought, then, after “googling” the dish – I quickly found out that Narraganset Indian Tribes developed the dish from ingredients local to them! After another search, this one on google maps – I found “Succotash Road”… and don’t you know I drove there and captured an image of the street in Narraganset! A quite beautiful spot as beach plums sway on the coast, studded with boats; commercial and leisure.
I recommend Narraganset Bay Lobsters, Inc. for just off the boat seafood and shellfish in Galilee.
So here you have a lovely, complete dinner: Fresh Fish, marinated in buttermilk and dredged in spiced cornmeal – and pan fried, (I used less fat than frying) Skillet Succotash and a Modern Creole Tartar Sauce. All Gluten- Free!
Raw kernels cut from the cob and mixed with various ingredients, was the basis of Indian Succotash – from the Narraganset words m’sick-quatash and sohquttahhash. The word meant fragments – a jumble of ingredients, and boiled corn, respectively. The dish was mispronounced, and came to be known as “succotash.”
Since corn and beans were twin staples for reasons of nutrition and taste, Succotash became an important American one-dish meal dish.
The poor man’s staple of corn and beans had its roots in colonial adaptation, which had its roots in first peoples’ wild food sources. (Nice to see the “locavore” movement vibrant right now.) Succotash is a traditional dish of many Thanksgiving celebrations in New England. Because of the relatively inexpensive and more readily available ingredients, the dish was popular during the Great Depression in the US.
Historians say: “each version of succotash may tell a story……What ever the case may be, it is a plate of cultural anthropology, a taste of history.”
Originally, corn (early cooks used dried corn) cooked along with beans and other “fragments” – old recipes usually included onions, salt pork or bear fat, and possibly squash, or other meat (usually pork bacon.)
The food that the Narragansett tribe ate included the staple crops called the “three sisters” which were corn, beans and squash. Lima beans were planted in rows along with corn and squash – all worked in unison as the corn stalks supported the bean vines, and the squash suffocated the intruding weeds. The beans produced nitrogen in the soil to help fertilize the corn. This method of cultivation, called the “Three Sisters, ” made its way to North America with the beans themselves.
Use the recipe below as a guideline to make your own variations of, or rather evolutions on the succotash theme. Creativity, and your favorite flavors can transform a basic recipe by swapping or adding in: edamame, black beans, tomatoes, bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms, okra, fresh herbs … you take it from here.