Lesson time 21:43 min
Mashama describes the origins of succotash and explains why the inclusion of tomatoes truly makes it a Southern dish, as does the okra, a by-product of the slave trade. She demonstrates how the vegetables are cooked and integrated on the plate.
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Topics include: The Vegetables · Plating
I'm going to make succotash. I think it's really a quintessential American dish. It's where the old world meets the new world. It's been around since the 17th century. When Europeans came to this country, they were introduced to corn and Lima beans by the Native Americans. But what makes it Southern? The addition of tomato, which grows well in the South, and also the addition of okra. Okra is an ingredient that originated in Africa and it came to America by enslaved Black people by way of the Middle Passage. Enslaved Black people grew this ingredient, which is responsible for a lot of dishes that we consider to be southern. Adding an ingredient like okra to succotash really specifies where it's from and who's making it. Succotash is really a representation of American food and a bit of a melting pot of a few different cultures brought together in one dish. Let's talk a little bit about what's in front of us. We have okra that's going into our succotash. We have corn that was introduced by the Native Americans. We have Lima beans, that's also introduced by the Native Americans. We have tomatoes, we have Serrano chili peppers that are pre-seeded and diced. We take the seeds out so we can control the heat. We have white onion that's diced, bell peppers, celery, some minced garlic, butter. We're also going to season our succotash with black pepper and a little bit of salt. And I just have a little water here in case I'm not getting enough water from my vegetables and I want to make sure that everything has an opportunity to incorporate. So let's get started. We're going to heat our butter in a heavy bottom pan. Woah. I'm fine. It's not the first stove that blew up in my face. It won't be the last. We have a Dutch oven here. You can use any heavy bottom pan that you have, sort of a wide pan works best for a dish like this. It gives you an opportunity to allow the vegetables to sweat, it gives you room to add water if you want, so it's nice to have some room to sort of move everything around. We're going to put this on a medium heat and we're going to add in our butter. You can use any fat that you want. You can use a little bit of bacon fat, lard-- which is probably a more traditional fat to use for a dish like this. You can also use olive oil if you want to keep it vegan. It's really up to you and your preference. So once the butter starts to melt, what we want to do is add in our sort of base vegetables, the part that's really going to season the dish. Here, we're going to use-- what they would call in Creole cooking-- Holy Trinity. So we'll start out with the onion, bell pepper, and celery. We'll coat these vegetables. So Holy Trinity is really the basis of a lot of Creole dishes that come out of New Orleans. New Orleans cuisine is a mixture of Native American, French, and African. And you'll find these aromatics really as the base of a lot of things like Jambalaya and Gumbo. And it kind of helps to create a thr...
About the Instructor
Through her award-winning Savannah restaurant, The Grey, Chef Mashama Bailey has brought worldwide acclaim to the rich, layered traditions of African American Southern cooking. Now the James Beard Award–winning chef shows you traditional and reimagined techniques and recipes for nutritious, flavorful Southern dishes. From pork shank and collard greens to gumbo and grits, explore a world of history, texture, and taste.
Featured Masterclass Instructor
James Beard Award–winning chef Mashama Bailey teaches you techniques and recipes for nutritious, flavorful Southern dishes—from grits to gumbo.Explore the Class