Food & Drink

Succotash, Sean Brock Style

This comforting staple, from the chef’s new cookbook, South, brings a taste of summer to the fall table

Photo: Peter Frank Edwards

When you’re craving the flavors of the summer garden, instead of going for the ears of corn grown Lord knows where, make hominy. The best dried corn captures that corn flavor from the field and stores it, ready to be enjoyed in the colder months. Because crowder peas are a summer crop, in the winter you’re more likely to see them frozen than fresh. But when they’re shelled fresh and frozen right out of the field, they keep their intensity of flavor with very little change in texture. You can stockpile crowder peas in the summer months and freeze them to enjoy in the winter. —Sean Brock

Excerpted from South: Essential Recipes and New Explorations by Sean Brock (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2019. Photographs by Peter Frank Edwards.


  • Crowder Pea and Hominy Succotash (Serves 4 as a side)

  • Peas

    • 1 tsp. canola oil

    • ½ sweet onion (about 3 ounces), trimmed and cut in half through the root end (leave the root intact so that the halves hold together)

    • 2 cups vegetable stock

    • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

    • 1 fresh bay leaf

    • 3 thyme sprigs

    • 2 cups fresh or frozen crowder peas (about 1 pound beans in the pod)

    • Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper

  • Succotash

    • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter

    • ½ cup thinly sliced sweet onion

    • 1 tsp. minced garlic

    • ¼ cup fine dice red bell pepper

    • ¼ cup fine dice yellow bell pepper

    • 2 tbsp. fine dice green bell pepper

    • ½ recipe Hominy (below)

    • ½ cup vegetable stock

    • ½ cup heavy cream

    • Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper

    • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

    • ½ ounce Asiago cheese, preferably Kenny's Farmhouse Dry Fork Reserve, grated

    • 3 tbsp. Fines Herbes (below)

  • Hominy (Makes about 3 cups)

    • 1⅓ cups (8 ounces) Anson Mills Yellow Hominy Corn

    • 11 cups water

    • 1 tsp. culinary lime

    • 2½ tablespoons kosher salt

    • 3 cups chicken stock

  • Fines Herbes (Makes ¼ cup)

    • 1 tbsp. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

    • 1 tbsp. finely chopped tarragon

    • 1 tbsp. minced chives

    • 1 tbsp. finely chopped chervil


  1. For the peas: Heat the canola oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the onion halves to the pan cut side down and cook, undisturbed, until the bottoms are caramelized to a very dark brown, about 3 minutes. Add the vegetable stock, vinegar, bay leaf, thyme, and peas and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the peas are tender, about 25 minutes.

  2. Drain the peas, reserving ¼ cup of the cooking liquid, and discard the bay leaf, thyme, and onion. Transfer the peas to a medium saucepan and season lightly with salt and white pepper. Add the reserved cooking liquid, cover, and set aside.

  3. For the succotash: Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until foamy. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the bell peppers and cook, stirring frequently, until they soften, about 5 minutes.


  4. Add the hominy, the crowder peas and their liquid, and the vegetable stock to the skillet and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the stock has reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the cream and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced by half and slightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes.

  5. Season the succotash liberally with salt and white pepper and stir in the lemon juice. Fold in the cheese and fines herbes and serve.

  6. For the hominy: Combine the corn, 3 cups of the water, and the culinary lime in a large nonreactive saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the hulls of the kernels begin to soften, about 35 minutes.

  7. Drain the corn in a colander and rinse very well under cold running water. Transfer to a large nonreactive pot, add the remaining 8 cups water and 1½ teaspoons of the salt, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the kernels are soft but not splitting, about 1 hour. Drain the corn, reserving 4 cups of the cooking liquid.

  8. Combine the corn, reserved cooking liquid, chicken stock, and remaining 2 tablespoons salt in a large nonreactive saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook, stirring often, until the kernels are completely soft and splitting, about 45 minutes. Drain the corn, spread it out on a rimmed baking sheet, and cool to room temperature.


  9. Transfer the cooled hominy to a container, cover, and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

  10. For the fines herbes: Combine all the herbs in a small bowl and mix well. Line a container with paper towels, transfer the herbs to it, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use. Tightly covered, the herbs will keep for up to 1 day in the refrigerator.