A Creole-style succotash with okra, celery, pepper, shrimp, and pork. [Photograph: Ed Anderson]

The succotash I grew up eating was a simple side dish of lima beans, corn, onion, black pepper, and a big hunk of butter. But despite my familiarity with the basic version, I am open to different interpretations of the dish (as long as it still contains butter, corn, and limas, of course). This creole succotash from the Treme cookbook is kind of like a tricked out version of the classic. In addition to the requisite vegetables, you'll find okra, celery, bell pepper, shrimp, and two kinds of pork. Crushed tomatoes bring all of the moving parts together for a succotash that's bold enough to be served on its own.

Why I picked this recipe: Summer is the time to make succotash of all stripes.

What worked: I liked that this meatier version could be served as a single, hearty main dish. It also couldn't have been easier to throw together.

What didn't: Even with the extra pork, the final dish lacked a little oomph. To amp things up, be sure to find strongly flavored andouille and ham. The shrimp didn't need the full 15 minutes to cook through—pull the pot off the heat as soon as they all turn pink.

Suggested tweaks: Sautéeing the aromatics and sausage would add a good base of flavor to the succotash if you want to add a couple of extra steps. Sauté the sausage first, and wait to add it back to the pot until everything has simmered for a bit.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Treme to give away this week.

About the author: Kate Williams is a freelance writer and personal chef living in Berkeley, CA. She is a contributor to The Oxford American and Berkeleyside NOSH, and she blogs at cookingwolves.wordpress.com.


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