Friday, January 31, 2014

Corn and Tomato Popper Succotash (and BACON) - Do Ahead Side Dishes

Lots of color, a unique mixture of ingredients, a name that causes controversy and a fantastic flavor combination...

And a terrific way to get your guests involved in the cooking.  This dish is PAINFULLY EASY.  SO easy that at any big family gathering (say a Thanksgiving meal), just slap an apron on the most inexperienced cook (or even say a 10 year old (or higher) grandchild) and in about 10 minutes with only a small amount of guidance they can be a part of the meal while you are multitasking to get everything ready to serve.

Of course if you are using inexperienced cooks, be sure to do the prep work, slicing dicing measuring, in advance,  Knife skills are best learned without pressure.

And now, as to the name... By definition, a succotash should have Lima Beans in it.  This dish does not.  First and most importantly, Lima Beans are one of the few food issues that I have held onto since childhood... I hate 'em.  But also, this is an adaptation of a recipe I saw on "The Chew".  Michael Symon made this and he called it a Succotash, even without Lima Beans.  This is not a classic Succotash and I know it.

But the name sounds too good not to leave it be.

I made several small changes to the dish from Michael's.  You can see his version by clicking HERE.  But the major flavor change I made was to add some grated Jalapeno pepper.  I made a test version of this before serving to a large BBQ.  It lacked a flavor punch that the tiny minced grated jalapenos fixed.  It was a very small amount but added a lot.

The dish is a wonderful side.  But also you could use this to dress up a Salmon, some Pork Medallions or sliced Chicken breast.  I did make this on the stove top.  But of course if you are cooking outside, a cast iron skillet over direct heat of a grill will work just as well.  This is a 10 minute dish (mostly cooking the bacon) that can easily be made while you "rest" the meat before slicing.

All in all.... Pretty Good dish to have in your repertoire!

OK... Here's what I did...

Corn and Tomato Popper Succotash

  • 1/2 Pound Bacon, Small Dice
  • 2 Cans Sett Corn, drained
  • 1 Pint Cherry Tomatoes, slice into halves or even quarters if they are big enough (I actually used a new variety of "Grape" Tomatoes wit a richer color and slight grape flavor)
  • 1/4 Cup Cilantro, rough chop
  • Juice and Zest of 1 Lime
  • 1 tsp Jalapeno Pepper, fine mince (I actually used about 1/4 of a Jalapeno Pepper that I grated on a microplane)
  • Several grinds of a pepper Mill To Taste
  • Big Pinch of Salt
Cooking Directions
  1. In a large saute pan over medium high heat, cook the bacon until crispy. Drain out all but 2 TBS of the Bacon fat renderings.
  2. Mix the corn with the bacon and saute in the rendered bacon fat for a couple of minutes until the already cooked corn is heated... Do not over cook.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat, but while the bottom is still HOT, and add the remaining ingredients. Stir to mix. and allow the residual heat to warm the tomatoes. After 5 minutes, drain excess liquid (from the warming tomatoes).
  4. Serve Warm or room temperature and ENJOY!!!

My good Blogging buddy Larry has been RVing around the country and stopped by our little corner of the Universe.  I used the occasion of his visit to throw a Bobby Flay style BBQ Addiction Whoop de Doo with...

Fish, Fowl, Hoof, Larry, Snout and Fish!  

First up, the Fowl, that's a BBQ Turkey, brined and injected with Cajun Butter and Glazed with that Jack Daniel's Whiskey BBQ Sauce.
Second is the Hoof, a 30 Garlic Peppercorn Beef Roast.
Third is Larry hisself!
These Sweet Cherry Baby Back ribs are second from the right 
And last but not least... the Fish is an absolutely amazing Cranberry Walnut sauce Sugar Cured Whole Salmon Filet.

But even Larry does not travel 4,000 miles in a rolling Studio Apartment on Meat alone... Come back all this next week for my side dishes, desserts to go along with all that meat.

I started yesterday with a spectacular presentation of a simple Jell-o salad (Dessert???).  Just a little extra effort and I had Stained Glass Jell-O, worthy of any Church PotLuck.

Now we are into the side dishes... 7 Dishes and still rolling along.  See you tomorrow!


So,  I am pleased to list this as one of my Growing list of  "52 Grilling Time Secret Extras" or "52 Ways to Cook BBQ and Grilling Recipes"!!!

Well over 52 recipes actually as I just can't stop... Over 100 in one grilling season (I love to grill!). But not just leat... Drinks, Condiments (LOTS of different BBQ sauces), Drinks, Desserts... even specialty items like GRILLED Pizza, and fun shaped Watermelons.  Easy and these ideas will make you the MASTER of your Backyard Domain!


Come and find me on Pinterest... Any of my "52 Ways to cook" Boards are worth following.  If you like this post, please take a second and "Pin" this to your own boards... Better yet, if you are part of a foodie group board please take a second and add this post to your group pins... best way to show your Love!

And BTW, if you are not yet part of a group board, drop me an email at and request to be added to my group board... FAVORITE FOOD BLOGGERS! (be sure to include your pinterest ID when you write)  Once you are added, any pins you add will be seen by 10s of THOUSANDS of followers of the board (and growing daily).

Rules, only 2... 
  1. In order to join you need to start following the group board as well as at least one of my boards.
  2. And you must ONLY pin original sources, posts from food related bloggers only.  If you are a blogger, this is a great way to have thousands of potential readers see your work,  If you are a fan of bloggers, a great way to share your favorites...
    Come and be a part of ... FAVORITE FOOD BLOGGERS! on Pinterest

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