MAYA "SUCCOTASH" OF NEW CORN AND FRESH BEANS
THIS TIMELESS AND INDEED ANCIENT DISH makes good use of fresh harvest ingredients: new corn, tender shell beans, squash seeds, tomatoes and chiles. It is the progenitor of today’s classic New England succotash and is still enjoyed in pueblos throughout Yucatán. The Mayan name is an affectionate reference to the tastiness of the dish: bu’ul means “bean” and chul refers to the act of scooping out the delicious last drops of a meal with your fingers! Even though it may not be the most photogenic dish on the block, Chulibu’ul will hook you with its nostalgia for crisp autumn fields, and just a hint of sun peeking through in a citrusy hot salsa.
YIELD: Ten 7 oz (200g) servings
• 1 lb. (500g) fresh espelón (Substitute: fresh black-eyed peas)
• 4 cups (1 liter) water
• 2 tsp. (12g) salt
• 2 large sprigs epazote (Substitute: 1 tsp. dried)
STEP ONE: THOROROUGHLY RINSE AND PICK THROUGH BEANS; place in a medium stockpot and cover with the water. Add salt and epazote; bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and continue cooking uncovered about 30 minutes or until just tender but not fully cooked. Off heat,remove epazote and discard.
• ½ cup (125 g) lard (Substitute: Vegetable or olive oil)
• 4 cups (500 g) fresh maize kernels
• 9 oz. (250 g) white onion, finely chopped
• 5 oz. (150 g) green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
• 10 oz. (300 g) tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
STEP TWO: HEAT FAT IN A LARGE SKILLET until hot but not smoking. Add one quarter (1 cup or 125g) of the corn kernels. Sauté until the corn is just beginning to turn golden, about 4 minutes. Add onion and bell pepper, and continue cooking until onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Transfer onion/tomato mixture to the beans and continue cooking over low heat.
STEP THREE: MEANWHILE, place remaining 3 cups (375g) corn in a blender; add 3-4 ladles of the cooking liquid from the beans and purée until smooth. Transfer corn purée to the pot containing the beans; reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently to prevent scorching.
• ¼ tsp ground black pepper
• 1 Tbs. dried orégano Yucateco (Substitute: 1 tsp. ground Mexican oregano), lightly toasted and passed through a sieve
STEP FOUR: ADD FLAVORINGS TO THE BEANS; continue stirring until mixture thickens. Check for seasonings and serve.
• 6 hard boiled eggs, sliced
• ½ recipe Pepita Molida
• 1 recipe Tomate Frito
• 1 recipe Tomate Frito
• 1 recipe Kut bi’Ik
STEP FIVE: TO SERVE, divide into small serving bowls; top each with three slices of egg and invite guests to add their own garnishes and salsas.
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