I have looked across the Atlantic for inspiration for this week’s star bake and accompanying dishes for Good Souls Bakery’s Global Kitchen (Thursday 23 April at The Waiting Room)
I chose cornbread as the yellow wedges make me think of laid back, sunny days because the first time I ate cornbread was in the sultry, steamy sunshine of Park Slope, Brooklyn in mid August. I can’t remember what I ate it with but I recall the lovely moist cake-like texture.
What to serve with the cornbread? I wanted a soup with a kick and chipotle black bean soup (sopa de frijoles negros) seemed to fit the bill. Black bean soup originated in Latin America but is now also very popular in the southern US states and it is a fantastic blend of flavours, the hearty comfort of the black beans enhanced by the heat of a chipotle paste, the zing from the lime marinated red onion topping, finished with a drizzle of sour cream and some chopped coriander. While this recipe may come from halfway around the world, the chipotles were grown and dried here in Colchester by Willies Chillies and they do deliver a mule-like kick.
There was another American dish I’m keen to serve alongside. Way back in the early 90’s, there was a song that was part of the soundtrack of my life in London, playing in practically every club, party, from passing cars and through open windows and that song was Groove Is In The Heart by Deee-Lite.
The lyrics that jumped out at me were - Your groove I do deeply dig, no walls, only the bridge, my supper dish, my succotash wish.
Succotash. Just sounded amazing. I had heard the word before, cartoon cat Sylvester used to utter ‘Sufferin’ Succotash’ but I didn’t have a clue what it was.
Eventually I discovered that Succotash was a dish made of lima beans, corn, peppers and courgettes. The name comes from the language of the Narragansett people, sohquttahhash, and means broken corn kernels. I make my succotash using a recipe from US Domestic Goddess, Martha Stewart. Unable to get Lima beans here, I use either edamame or cannellini beans. Have to say I think the dish tastes as good as Deee-Lite promised it would.