(2017) Summer Succotash

I wish I remembered where this came from. But it’s a great way to use the corn and peppers from today’s box. We don’t have field peas yet, but I’m betting we’ll see some soon. And this is delicious without field peas – so consider maybe dicing up a zucchini if you have one left from last week. It’s an easy recipe for a slow cooker.

Field Pea Tamales

This is an adaptation of an African street food dish called Abala. In Senegal, the little packets are wrapped in banana leaves. At one time I had a banana tree in my yard, and could harvest my own banana leaves for wrappers. I used them to make a Burmese dish of steamed sweet rice – yum. But I digress. If you don’t have your own banana tree, there are plenty of banana leaves for sale at the DeKalb Farmers Market in both fresh and frozen form, and probably at any store that caters to a Caribbean or African customer base.

Or – make it simple – use corn husks as I suggest here. Those are pretty ubiquitous these days.

Just reading through the recipe will remind you that many cultures have leaf-wrapped dishes with a starch – like field peas or corn masa – surrounding a savory filling. And the relish here? If this were a recipe from Mexico, we’d be calling it pico de gallo.

Redeye Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Black-Eyed Peas

And finally – a fabulous recipe from Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene. It ran in Bon Appetit back in February 2012. You could just do the peas and tenderloin if making the gravy seems like too much, but for a meal when you want to impress someone with fabulous Southern flavors, this would be a beautiful thing to make. It’s complicated, but so representative of the kind of cooking that’s made Hopkins an Atlanta treasure.