Spicy Summer Peas and Corn with Bacon

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I have changed the name of this recipe a dozen times and I’m still not happy with it. You can only a stretch a dish so far until- snap– it’s just not that dish any more. This recipe started out as succotash, but succotash is a specific yankee dish, and there have been too many additions and deletions to call it succotash any longer with a straight face. Anyway, this not-succotash is all about August in the South, shelling peas and beans in the garden and putting them straight into the pot for dinner. Peppers all seem to be coming ripe at once in my garden so one or two are going into everything.

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Spicy Summer Peas and Corn with Bacon

1/4 lb bacon, homemade if possible, cut into lardons
1 c fresh or semi-dried butter beans
1 c fresh or semi-dried field peas like crowder peas, black-eyed peas, or zipper peas
1 c frozen corn, or fresh if you have it!
2 large green peppers, chopped
1/4 c chicken broth or water
1 or 2 hot peppers, minced (more if you want really spicy)
Salt and pepper

Shell the beans & peas if necessary. Put in a pot with plenty of water to cover. Add a teaspoon or so of salt. Bring to a boil, then turn down a simmer and simmer for an hour. Drain and rinse.

Fry the bacon lardons in a dutch oven until browned and crispy. If the pot is hot enough, the bacon will crisp before it loses too much fat. Add the peppers and fry until softened and starting to brown. Add the beans and corn and fry, stirring often, until everything is sizzling hot. Add the chicken broth and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until almost dry. Stir in the minced chile and a few good cracks of pepper. Turn the heat off and let sit for a few minutes. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if necessary.

Serve hot with cornbread and pickled okra.

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