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Ham and Chicken Succotash, Easy Slow Cook Recipe

Chicken and Ham Succotash

Succotash is a pretty ordinary side dish, but this chicken and ham succotash makes it into a nice main dish and with just a little tweaking, turns it into something to rave about. And if you’re lucky enough to have some fresh or canned corn and baby Lima beans, the amazing flavors are truly something to dream about. And it actually works best in a slow cooker.

So what makes it different? Start with some great ham and nice chunked chicken breasts (you can do them sous vide if you like), add some fresh cream of chicken soup (I make my own, which I have to condense a bit, but you can certainly find store-bought or better yet, something made fresh from some other source), a little red pepper and a little scallion. Add a little (or maybe more) red pepper to spice it up a beat and you’ve got a good, fresh meal.

Oh, and to be sure, get some (or make some) biscuits. They’re essential.

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Ham and Corn Risotto

Ham and Corn Risotto

So we all know risotto, that lovely rice dish, is definitely an Italian original. This ham and corn risotto (though I don’t know it’s heritage), is most likely something cooked up probably a good way from Italy. That said, there still is something about smoked ham and good corn that makes this risotto as good as it could ever come from Italy or anywhere else.

I should probably mention that under almost any circumstances, I’m good for risotto just about anytime you could bring it up. There is something about that Arborio rice and chicken broth that really gets me going. So when I came across the recipe from Southern Living, I had to try it and man, was it good. I did resort to making the risotto the traditional way, with lots of care in the execution, but apart from that, I really didn’t change a whole lot.

Give this a try. I think you’ll like it.

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Corn with Thyme and a Little Garlic Butter

Corn with Thyme and Garlic Butter

There is nothing better than a great little side dish that adds just a hint of spice, and a bit of filling stuff without messing up that grand presentation you’ve got coming for the main dish. That’s where this little corn with thyme dish comes into play. I haven’t done a lot of side dishes here at Discovery Cooking, but this one, no matter how simple, is one you should always have around.

First off, the corn. When the late summer and early fall are on the line, good fresh corn right from the farmer’s market is definitely in order here. There is nothing quite like good fresh corn, and there is nothing quite like it. Trouble is, for most of us, that’s a pretty small window to hit. If your one of those lucky ones who have corn you’ve actually canned, that’s generally a good substitute. For the rest of us, high-quality frozen corn is often what we’re left with, but guess what? It’s often way better than some of the two and three-day old corn sold as fresh in the super markets. So there.

The second thing to remember is the thyme. If you can’t get fresh thyme, don’t even try this. The thyme is what gives this dish most of the flavor and there is nothing quite like that flavor.  Good news, if you’re growing some thyme in the backyard, but in most days, you can now get fresh thyme in most grocery stores. The main thing is to add the thyme a little bit at a time until you’ve got just the right amount, and that may vary from when and where you’ve got it.

Add in just a little garlic in the butter sauce and you’re on your way.

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Pappardelle with Caramelized Corn

There is something about corn and pasta, and this pappardelle with caramelized corn may be the best I’ve ever made. When you’ve got your hands on fresh corn, good bacon, and some very nice home made pasta, you really can’t do much better than that. 

If you’ve never had freshly made pasta, that’s the first thing you want for this dish. Yes, it does work just fine with dried pasta. But it just works so much better with a wonderful pappardelle or riccioli that I promise you, you’ll always go for the freshly made stuff once you’ve had it. And yes, you can also do this without fresh corn, too. Once again, you’ll be glad you can do this with good locally grown corn, however.

I know the original recipe for this came from a cookbook, newspaper or maybe a magazine. I just can’t honestly tell you where that was, but I can tell you that we’ve increased the bacon a bit from the original recipe and probably have done some other things over the years we’ve been making it.

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Turkey Cutlets with Corn and Basil

turkey cutlets with corn and basil

Turkey is not one of those things I tend to think about during summer. Not sure why, because turkey done well really does some nice things if I give it a try. This turkey cutlets with corn and basil is one of those things. It’s easy and quick to prepare and it makes a great summer dish for a quiet evening.

The first thing about this dish is that once the ingredients are prepared, it takes around thirty minutes (maybe less) to make. The turkey is browned and set aside, the shallots and vinegar get a quick saute and then the rest of the ingredients are quickly added, with basil at the end to give it a little herbal flavor. 

That’s all there is.

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More Small Thanksgiving — Crab and Corn Dip

Crab and Corn Dip

So here’s something that always struck me as odd. As a Virginian, I’ll argue that the first Thanksgiving feast was held in my adopted commonwealth, but even if you subscribe to the idea that the feast took place in Massachusetts, why on earth is it that seafood and corn are not typically part of the tradition? I can’t imagine that somewhere very early on, the colonists on the east coast didn’t learn from the native Americans about growing corn and harvesting the abundant crabs, oysters, mussels, clams and fish from the readily accessible waters around them. Doesn’t make much sense to me, so when the holiday rolls around, I like to try to incorporate both into the meal somehow. That’s where this crab and corn dip comes into play. It can serve as a great appetizer for guests to enjoy while you’re getting the rest of the meal on the table, or a terrific snack while you’re watching the Packers and the Bears.

This version of the dip is scaled for a small group — three or four diners — but is easy to scale up if you have a larger dinner in the works. Crabs and corn are a truly awesome flavor combination. Add in the silky textures of  cream and melted cheese and, well, I can’t imagine a better way to get the most important foodie holiday off to a delicious start. It’s perfect.

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Chicken Sage and Corn Soup with Bacon and Cheddar Cheese

Chicken Sage and Corn Soup

One of the best things about fall is that I get to bring out the stock pot and get a good soup  or stew underway. Soups and stews give me the chance to be creative and experiment with flavor combinations. In particular, I love making soups that, served with some rustic bread and a nice green salad, are hearty enough for a full meal. This chicken sage and corn soup is a result of just such an experiment.

Because it is still early in the fall, I can still manage to find some fresh corn, so that was the starting point for the recipe. Adding fresh sage from the mini herb garden on my deck was the thing that made the soup. Somehow the aroma it gave the soup, along with the smokiness of the bacon, just evokes a kind of late-summer early fall feeling.

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