Thursday, 6 August 2015

Grilled Corn Succotash with Cumin Rubbed Chicken

There was corn on the cob to be used, beautiful, fresh, sweet and juicy. There was also a tiny amount of edamame beans and white kidney beans in the freezer, neither one enough to be used alone. Combining the three to make succotash seemed like a reasonable solution to me.

I grilled the corn before removing it and making the succotash; I chose to grill the last of the yellow and green zucchini and then bake it with a bit of grated Parmesan instead of adding it to the corn and beans. To round off the meal I made some cumin rubbed grilled chicken breasts. This was a delicious and surprisingly filling meal.

Start off by preparing the zucchini...

Thinly slice:

1/2 yellow zucchini
1/2 green zucchini

Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Place on the hot grill and cook just long enough to get some lovely grill marks on each side.

It will be cooked again, so be careful not to overcook it at this point.

Remove from the grill and allow it to cool enough to handle.

Lightly grease a dish that can be placed in the oven or on a hot grill.

Arrange the zucchini, slightly overlapping the slices.

Season lightly with salt and pepper. Sprinkle chopped fresh thyme over the top, and lastly, sprinkle grated Parmesan over everything.

Set aside until the chicken is on the grill. Then place the zucchini on the top shelf of the BBQ to reheat it, and to finish cooking it. The Parmesan will melt and go a bit crispy. Allow it to rest for 5 minutes before serving it, as the juices get very hot!

To make the succotash, start by shucking the ears of corn and lightly rubbing them with a bit of olive oil.

Place the corn onto the hot grill while you are grill marking the zucchini slices, turning it every few minutes so that it cooks evenly.

When the corn is done, it will have a bit of colour from the grill, and a smoky flavour.

Remove it and allow it to cool.

Using a sharp knife, cut the kernels off the corn cobs, and place in a bowl with:

1/4 cup edamame beans
2 tablespoons white kidney beans
1 cup halved grape tomatoes
3 chopped green onions
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil and lime juice to taste

Allow the succotash to come to room temperature before serving it; the flavours are brighter this way.

For the chicken breasts, rub them with:

Olive oil
Ground cumin
Salt and pepper

Cook on the hot grill, turning occasionally until the chicken is cooked through.

Remove from the heat and allow the meat to rest for 5 minutes before slicing, and serving.

This seems like it was a lot of work, but once the zucchini is grilled and assembled, everything happens while the chicken cooks, and the zucchini reheats. A lovely light summery meal...

  • The zucchini slices and corn can be grilled a day ahead...throw them onto the BBQ when you are making dinner, and you are ahead of the game the next night!
  • The zucchini can also be assembled the day before; keep it well wrapped in the refrigerator.
  • If you want to heat the zucchini in the oven, do so at 350F until it is heated through, tender and the cheese is crisping up.
  • Other cheese that would be good choices with zucchini are feta cheese or goat cheese.
  • The grilled zucchini can be added to the is part of the dish, but I chose to separate it for those in the family who don't like zucchini.
  • Frozen corn can be used instead of fresh, but when the short corn season is upon us I like to use fresh as much as I can.
  • Use your favourite beans, or those that you have available. I try to think about presentation and colour when I make dishes like this. The edamame beans added a lot of colour; black beans would add a beautiful contrast to the corn and tomatoes.
  • Heirloom tomatoes, whether large or small, will add a lot of interest to the dish, with their vibrant colours, intense taste and interesting shapes.
  • I am not a big fan of raw onion, so I tend to use green onions as they have a milder taste. I wouldn't suggest using yellow onions, but finely chopped red onions could be substituted.
  • Lemon juice can be used instead of lime; I had a very juicy lime that I wanted to make use of. I also like the brightness that lime juice brings to a salad.
  • Add chopped fresh herbs such as parsley or cilantro.
  • Diced sweet peppers can also be added to the succotash...again, the variety of colours can give beautiful results. The peppers will also add a crunch to your succotash.
  • Add leftovers to wraps, quesadillas or omelettes.
  • The simple preparation of the chicken allowed the star of the meal, the succotash, to shine. The ground cumin was also a great flavour compliment to the corn, tomatoes and lime juice.
  • The succotash and zucchini can be accompanied by any meat or fish, or they can simply be a light dinner or lunch.

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