Creamy Succotash

Adapted from Not Afraid of Flavor by Ben and Karen Barker.

  • 2 tablespoons olive, canola or peanut oil
  • 3 ounces country ham cut into small dice (you can purchase small packages of country ham pieces for flavoring at local grocery stores)
  • ¼ cup fennel, finely diced
  • ¼ cup carrot, finely diced
  • ½ cup onion, finely diced
  • ¼ cup red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic or more to taste
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 pint fresh or frozen limas or fresh or frozen edamame (or dried, soaked and cooked limas)
  • Chicken stock as needed (about ½ to 1 cup)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn or canned hominy, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • Fresh thyme, parsley and/or rosemary to taste

In a large saute pan or skillet, saute country ham in oil till lightly browned; add vegetables and saute till onions are beginning to caramelize, then add garlic, red pepper and bay leaf and cook one minute more. Add lima beans and enough stock to barely cover and simmer till the beans are just tender.

While limas are cooking, in another small pan combine corn and cream and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer till corn is cooked and cream has reduced and thickened. When beans are cooked and creamed corn is ready, combine the two mixtures, add herbs and adjust seasonings to taste. Serves 4 to 6.