Do you think you could get the recipe for the “succotash” served with seared scallops at Saxapahaw General Store? I cannot get this dish out of my mind and it’s been months since I had it!
Jeff Barney, an owner and head chef at the Saxapahaw General Store, was happy to share not only the recipe for the chickpea, potato and bacon “succotash” but also advice on how to cook the scallops that are often served with it.
The Saxapahaw General Store, which opened in 2008, is part gas station and convenience store, part casual restaurant serving the quality of food you might find at a full-service restaurant. Its menu is more well-executed, modern comfort food than white-tablecloth fine dining fare. Many of their ingredients come from local farms. Greg Cox, The News & Observer’s longtime restaurant critic, gave the restaurant four out of five stars in a 2010 review.
Barney says his version of succotash is very popular and is served with the scallops or a barbecue pork belly confit.
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Saxapahaw General Store
1735 Saxapahaw-Bethlehem Church Road, Saxapahaw
Seared Scallops with Asparagus and Creamy Applewood Bacon Succotash
From Jeff Barney, co-owner and head chef at the Saxapahaw General Store in Saxapahaw, N.C.
4 slices good quality bacon
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Crushed red pepper
2 cups diced potatoes (Yukon gold, Russet or Kennebec), leave skin on
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 large yellow onion, peeled, diced
1 cup corn kernels, preferably fresh but thawed from frozen also work
1 cup heavy cream
12-16 medium scallops, depending upon size
12-16 sprigs of thin asparagus
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 poblano pepper, seeds removed, thinly sliced
Half a red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
Preheat a convection oven to 425 degrees or a regular oven to 450 degrees.
Sauté bacon in a large skillet over medium-low heat until crispy. When done, remove to a paper towel-lined plate. Pour bacon fat into a small bowl and reserve. Do not wipe out skillet. Set aside. When bacon is cool, crumble and set aside.
Spread chickpeas out on a rimmed baking sheet. Add 1-2 tablespoons bacon fat and cook in the oven for about 10 minutes until crispy. At the halfway point, turn chickpeas in the melted bacon fat and return to oven. When done, remove chickpeas to a bowl and sprinkle with sea salt and a pinch of crushed red pepper.
Spread diced potatoes on rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Add 1-2 tablespoons bacon fat; cook for about 20 minutes. At the halfway point, turn potatoes over so they brown on the other side; return to oven. When potatoes are cooked inside and crispy brown on outside, remove from oven and add to the chickpeas. (Potatoes and chickpeas can be prepared a day ahead.)
Heat 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat in the same large skillet in which you cooked the bacon. Add diced onions. Season with salt and pepper and cook until onions just start to turn brown at the edges. Add corn and toss together.
Add 1 tablespoon bacon fat. Add chickpeas and potatoes and cook until they return to full crispness. Reduce heat to medium and add 1 cup heavy cream. Cook until the cream darkens slightly and the texture resembles melted cheese. (It sounds weird, but you will know it when you see it.) Remove from heat and cover with a lid or foil until ready to serve.
Add remaining bacon fat to another large skillet over medium-high heat. Season scallops with salt and pepper. When skillet is hot, add scallops and sear for 2 minutes per side. Remove scallops to a plate. Add asparagus to the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes, tossing gently. Remove to plate with the scallops and cover with foil.
Pour white wine into the hot skillet used to sauté the scallops. Over high heat, add poblano, red onion and 2 tablespoons butter. Toss to coat. Reduce heat to medium and cook until liquid is reduced to a syrupy glaze.
To serve: Divide succotash among four plates, top with scallops and asparagus. Then top with peppers and onions and pour reduced sauce over each serving. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon.
Yield: 4 servings