My friend Kate always chooses what to order based on the name. When I first learned this about her, I was skeptical, until I noticed that she always ended up with the most delicious thing on the menu, time and time again. And so I'm not sure whether I decided to cook succotash and shakshuka together because of Kate's influence (should it be shakshukotash or succoshuka?), or simply because these two traditional dishes are a match made in heaven. But either way, I'm glad I did, because it's become my new favorite way to cook eggs.
Succotash is a Native American dish, usually made with simmered shelled beans and corn. It's influenced many American cuisines, especially in the southern and eastern US (check out Jessica B. Harris' Summer Southern Succotash and Lolis Eric Elie's Creole Succotash for two fabulous examples). It's often made with lima beans, but many adaptations rely on a range of different shell beans (and in Harris' recipe, okra!).
While succotash makes a perfect late summer meal, you can even enjoy it in the middle of winter without sacrificing quality, since all of the key ingredients are delicious frozen or canned. Lima beans are hard to find in my neighborhood, so I used a frozen lima-soy-pea blend to develop this recipe, but any green shelled beans will work beautifully here (fresh fava beans, for instance, go great with tomato and would be wonderful here). For the second part of the succotash equation, you can use always-classic sweet corn, but I also love this starchy Asian variety of purple waxy corn, which gelatinizes into chewy, sticky grains when it's heated. It's basically like the corn version of sticky rice.
yield: 2 servings
total time: 20 minutes
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1 cup corn (from about 1 ear)
1 cup shell beans (any combination of frozen lima beans, soy beans, or fava beans)
salt, to taste (about 1/4 teaspoon)
2 cloves garlic, crushed through a press or finely minced
14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
optional: chopped cilantro or parsley to garnish
for serving: pita bread or toast
- Place a skillet over medium-high heat and add the butter (or olive oil). Once it melts, add the corn, beans, and salt to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes until everything lightly browns.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic. Stir together for about 30 seconds, and then add the diced tomatoes.
- Stir and cook everything for 3 minutes, just until the tomato sauce thickens slightly.
- Use the back of your wooden spoon to make four little indentations for the eggs. Crack 1 egg into each indentation. Season with some salt, to taste. Immediately cover, and cook for about 4 minutes for runny egg yolks, or 5 minutes for soft-set, custardy, slightly runny egg yolks.
- Check the eggs by poking the white near the yolk with a knife and gently poking the yolk with your finger. If the whites do not ooze and the yolk still feels jiggly, they should be perfect. Once they are done, serve immediately. If the whites are not set, continue cooking them covered, checking every 45 seconds to see if they are done.
- Garnish with some chopped cilantro or parsley and serve with bread on the side