Are you like me and just love the flavors of local corn, tomatoes and fresh shelled limas? We in the Carolinas are lucky enough to find ourselves smack in the season for summer succotash, creamed corn and a plethora of ways to eat, cook and serve up local tomatoes!
Of course, the wild salmon I call for in this recipe is not local to Charlotte, NC; but it is in season and readily available at fish mongers around town, so take the opportunity to enjoy or select your choice of any one of North Carolina sustainable seafood choices. Almost any sort of seafood fillet – or grilled shrimp for that matter – will work with this recipe.
So Easy to Source Locally for this Summer Succotash and Creamed Corn Combo
All the vegetables in the summer succotash and creamed corn may be sourced locally this time of year.
If its summer in Charlotte NC – just about any time after the Fourth of July, then local corn is spot on right now and you should take advantage of the season. You can easily cut it off the cob with a knife or a small inexpensive mandoline slicer called a Feemster Slicer to make short work of the job.
As far as the condiments for today’s recipe go – for top notch extra virgin olive oil the Queen City I turn to my friends Sophie and Doug at Pour Olive, a gourmet olive oil and artisan vinegar shop On East Blvd. in Charlotte’s Dilworth neighborhood; Or to my friends Dimitri and Kathleen at The Olive Crate. Pour Olive features current harvest olive oils from around the world and so the selection of these golden elixirs changes from season to season. The Olive Crate sells an Olive OIl from Greece called Kores Estate. Like the Ultra Premium Extra Virgin olive oils at Pour Olive, the Kores Estate EVOO is also current harvest.
Salt and Pepper are all you need to season your Summer Succotash
For spices, dried herbs, my favorite sea salt and the ingredients that make up the Heidi’s Hot Pepper Blend noted in the recipe, take a culinary field trip to the Savory Spice Shop in SouthEnd. The knowledgeable staff will help guide you in your selection of dried spice and herbs and will measure out whatever you need. The beauty of shopping at the Savory Spice Shop is that you can buy a pinch or a pound of any of the high quality, often organic, dried herbs and spices to use at the peak of flavor.
I love the pink Himalayan sea salt and use the coarse grind most of the time. It works particularly well on proteins ( like the wild salmon listed in this recipe) Season the fish before cooking, as the coarse ground salt adds flavor but doesn’t pull out too much moisture.
My other go -to condiment to keep things salty is from the North Carolina coast. Outer Banks Sea Salt is available at several specialty grocers in town, and is also available online here.
As for the pepper – I have come up with two mixes that my husband, Tom Billotto and I love to spice things up with – I’ve given one the moniker Heidi’s Hot Pepper Blend; and the other, simply, Heidi’s Hot Pepper Blend with Coriander.
The original Heidi’s Hot Pepper Blend came to be because I loved a product called Hot Shot available at most grocery stores in the spice department.
However as my philosophy of trying to eat and cook with local and organic products has developed, I have opted not to purchase commercially packaged products that rely so heavily on preservative and chemicals to maintain freshness.
When I found the Savory Spice Shop in Charlotte’s SouthEnd neighborhood I was in heaven and totally redid my spice drawers. Tossing out the old and enjoying the selection of the new and interesting.
My new pepper blend is a combination of Tellicherry, Lampong and Pink Reunion Peppercorns – equal parts of each – and I grind up new batches as needed in my coffee grinder. For summer I have started adding in an equal amount of coriander seed to the mix – it adds a nice spicy and citrusy touch – perfect with the grilled fish here and on chicken and veggies, too.
I suggest you wander in the Savory Spice Shop SouthEnd when you get a chance and be prepared to taste you way through the flavorful selection of dried herbs and spices before you buy. Tell them you want Heidi’s Hot Pepper Blend and they’ll know just what to measure out for you – with or without the coriander.
Now that you have all the particulars – lets get on with the recipe… all the parts stand up deliciously on their own or together they make for the perfect summer supper – Enjoy!
GRILLED SALMON WITH SUMMER SUCCOTASH AND CREAMED CORN
Here is what you’ll need:
For the summer succotash:
1 1/2 pounds local baby lima beans, shelled,
2 large ears local corn, kernels cut from the cob (about 2 cups)
1 large local tomato, seeded, diced
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh local or organic Italian parsley
2 Tbsp. of your favorite extra-virgin olive oil
For the creamed corn:
7 large ears local corn, kernels cut from cob (about 7 cups)
¼ cup heavy cream or half and half
For the vinaigrette:
1 lb. local tomatoes, chopped – no need to seed or peel
2/3 cup your favorite extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove local or organic garlic, minced
4 Tbsp. Pour Olive Blueberry Ginger infused balsamic vinegar
Sea salt and Heidi’s Hot Pepper Blend from the Savory Spice Shop
For the fish:
Your Favorite Pour Olive extra virgin Olive oil
4 ( 6 oz) portions of wild salmon
Here’s what to do:
For the summer succotash: Cook beans in large saucepan of boiling salted water until just tender, about 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon or strainer, transfer beans to colander; reserve cooking water. Rinse beans with cold water. Add corn kernels to reserved cooking water and cook until just tender, about 1 minute. Drain. Return beans and corn to same saucepan. Mix in tomato, Italian parsley and extra-virgin olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Let stand covered at room temperature. Rewarm over low heat before serving.)
For the creamed corn: Place corn kernels in processor. Puree until liquid is released from corn, about 3 minutes (mixture will still be coarse). Transfer one third of the pureed corn to strainer set over large measuring cup. Press on solids in strainer to extract as much juice as you can; discard solids. Transfer corn juice to medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat just until juice begins to thicken, Add remaining corn kernels and whipping cream to saucepan and stir just until corn is heated through, about 2 minutes. Season to taste
with salt and pepper. Remove creamed corn from heat; cover to keep warm.
For the vinaigrette:
Season tomatoes with coarse sea salt and Heidi’s Hot Pepper Blend. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and saute garlic and tomatoes 4- 5 minutes till the tomatoes begin to soften. Remove from heat, add balsamic vinegar and remaining olive oil. Toss well to blend.
For the fish:
Sprinkle fillets with coarse salt and Heidi’s Hot Pepper Blend with Coriander. heat grill, place fillets on the grill skin side up . Cook fish for 10 minutes per inch of thickness – measure them at the thickest part and then turn them over using a pair of tongs and a spatula, halfway during the grilled time. After fish has grilled the skin will easily peel off should you wish to remove it, although some people love crispy salmon skin.
Divide creamed corn and succotash equally among 4 plates. Top each serving with a grilled fillet. Spoon tomato vinaigrette atop each fillet and serve.