Creamy Maple Polenta Succotash

Creamy maple polenta succotash

The photo doesn’t look like much and the name might remind you of Sylvester from Looney Toons, but if creamed corn is your thing, this is your Holy Grail.

Succotash is truly an American dish if there ever was one. Its roots go back to a time before the Pilgrims had the first Thanksgiving. Beans and Maize (corn) were popular crops for Native Americans because together they are a rich source of both protein and carbohydrates. It was common for the two to be cooked together and the term succotash was derived from the Narraganset term: msikwatas.

Since then a lot of other ingredients such as cured meats and cream have been introduced and the name refers to just about anything that has corn and beans in it. My version uses milk along with polenta to make a satisfyingly thick (though not overly cloying) “pudding” in which kernels of crisp sweet corn and fresh fava beans are suspended. The maple syrup brings out the natural sweetness in the corn and with a bit of cream added at the end it makes for a symphony of harmonious textures and flavours. It’s a balanced meal by itself but also works great as a side for meats and poultry.

If fresh fava beans aren’t available, fresh lima beans or fresh peas would work as well. In the dead of winter, this would also taste great with canned corn and cannellini beans. Additions such as bacon and cheese (pecorino or gruyere are two possibilities) would certainly make this richer and I can even imagine turning this into a gratin by putting it in a casserole dish, topping with cheese and breadcrumbs and baking.

2 1/2 cups milk
1 1/4 Tsp kosher salt (or 1/2 tsp regular salt)
1 Tbs maple syrup
1/8 tsp sage
fresh ground black pepper
1/2 C polenta
2 ears corn removed from the cob along with any “milk” from the corn (about 2 cups)
1 cup shelled fresh fava beans
2 Tbs cream

Add the milk, salt, maple syrup, sage and pepper to a sauce pan and heat over medium heat until simmering. Add the polenta and stir continuously until it starts to thicken, about 10 minutes.

Turn down the heat to medium low and add the corn. Cook stirring regularly until the polenta is no longer soupy but not too firm about 10-15 minutes. Add the beans and cook for a few more minutes until the beans are bright green.

Remove from heat and taste, adjusting salt and pepper as needed then stir in the cream. Serve while hot.

  • http://voodoolily.blogspot.com/ Heather

    Ha! My fried squash would’ve gone great with this! In fact, I made poblano-corn pudding to go with them! :D Great minds think alike.

  • http://voodoolily.blogspot.com Heather

    Ha! My fried squash would’ve gone great with this! In fact, I made poblano-corn pudding to go with them! :D Great minds think alike.

  • http://www.souvlakiforthesoul.com/ Peter G

    Lovely! I would def go with the cannellini beans as I have so many cans stocked up in my pantry. I really love the addition of maple syrup here.

  • http://www.souvlakiforthesoul.com Peter G

    Lovely! I would def go with the cannellini beans as I have so many cans stocked up in my pantry. I really love the addition of maple syrup here.

  • http://manggy.blogspot.com/ Manggy

    Very interesting combination of flavors here, Marc! It’s difficult for me to imagine maple, beans, and sage together, but I am a corn-in-savory-dishes fan and this sounds delicious :)

  • http://manggy.blogspot.com Manggy

    Very interesting combination of flavors here, Marc! It’s difficult for me to imagine maple, beans, and sage together, but I am a corn-in-savory-dishes fan and this sounds delicious :)

  • http://www.illeatyoudelish.blogspot.com/ Lauren

    I would never think of using maple syrup in polenta (although I don’t know why, it seems like a big duh). I will have to try this!

  • http://www.illeatyoudelish.blogspot.com Lauren

    I would never think of using maple syrup in polenta (although I don’t know why, it seems like a big duh). I will have to try this!

  • http://www.sugarbar.org/ diva

    this looks and sounds pretty interesting. i’ve never had it but i always believe that maple syrup makes everything better so i’ll definitely be very eager to try this ;)

  • http://www.sugarbar.org diva

    this looks and sounds pretty interesting. i’ve never had it but i always believe that maple syrup makes everything better so i’ll definitely be very eager to try this ;)

  • http://www.noblepig.com/ noble pig

    OMG what a recipe, I love it.

  • http://www.noblepig.com/ noble pig

    OMG what a recipe, I love it.

  • http://www.weareneverfull.com/ We Are Never Full

    whoa. i want this. i need to make this. i just had succotash as a backdrop to a delicious scallops starter and it reignited my love for this dish! great job -looks so good and a creative mix of ingredients!

  • http://www.weareneverfull.com We Are Never Full

    whoa. i want this. i need to make this. i just had succotash as a backdrop to a delicious scallops starter and it reignited my love for this dish! great job -looks so good and a creative mix of ingredients!

  • http://www.realepicurean.com/ Scott at Realepicurean

    oh, more maple! I’m such a maple fiend recently.

  • http://www.realepicurean.com Scott at Realepicurean

    oh, more maple! I’m such a maple fiend recently.

  • http://www.kyotofoodie.com/ Peko Peko

    The names of your dishes kill me. I just looked at the words over and over. Creamy + Maple + Polenta + Succotash. Such an amazing combination!! I must try this one one day!

  • http://www.kyotofoodie.com Peko Peko

    The names of your dishes kill me. I just looked at the words over and over. Creamy + Maple + Polenta + Succotash. Such an amazing combination!! I must try this one one day!

  • http://www.cookeatfret.com/ claudia (cook eat FRET)

    this is food porn for me
    polenta is so my thing

    nicely done as usual!

  • http://www.cookeatfret.com claudia (cook eat FRET)

    this is food porn for me
    polenta is so my thing

    nicely done as usual!

  • http://doghillkitchen.blogspot.com/ Maggie

    This sounds so good! I hope I have a chance to make it before the sweet corn is gone for the season.

  • http://doghillkitchen.blogspot.com Maggie

    This sounds so good! I hope I have a chance to make it before the sweet corn is gone for the season.

  • Pingback: Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: No Menus: an underground restaurant affair | [ No Recipes ]

  • Chef-at-heart

    I AM brand new at the blog and i have a polenta suggestion. I love that you are making it sweet…but my favorite is sliced and grilled for 6-8 min. Before you put it on, sprinkle with sea salt and olive oil. Serve with your famous tomato sauce or add some meatballs or sausage!

  • Chef-at-heart

    I AM brand new at the blog and i have a polenta suggestion. I love that you are making it sweet…but my favorite is sliced and grilled for 6-8 min. Before you put it on, sprinkle with sea salt and olive oil. Serve with your famous tomato sauce or add some meatballs or sausage!

Welcome!

I'm Marc, and I want to teach you some basic techniques and give you the confidence and inspiration so that you can cook without recipes too!

Zucchini Gratin
Peanut Butter Chicken Tacos
Foraging for Spring
SVS: Slow Cooked Eggs
Salsa Verde
Corn with Bacon Vinaigrette
Wallpaper Wednesday: Kalachuchi Flowers, Singapore