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About the Dish

1/2 cup Grits
4 ounces Butter Beans
6 ounces Tasso
3 ounces Sweet Peppers
2 ounces Green Onion
2 ears Corn
6 ounces Salad Tomatoes
2 cloves Garlic
6 sprigs Thyme
1 pat Butter
Per Serving
Calories 560
Total Fat 22 g
Saturated Fat 7 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 55 mg
Sodium 910 mg
Total Carbohydrates 63 g
Dietary Fiber 11 g
Sugar 9 g
Protein 27 g
Sheri Castle

Sheri Castle is an award-winning, professional food writer and culinary instructor. She is known for melding storytelling, humor, and culinary expertise, so she can tell a tale while making a memorable meal. Sheri is the author of The Southern Living Community Cookbook: Celebrating Food and Fellowship in the American South and The New Southern Garden Cookbook: Recipes for Enjoying the Best from Homegrown Gardens, Farmers’ Markets, Roadside Stands and CSA Boxes, The University of North Carolina Press, 2011. Sheri won the 2011 AIWF Foundation Scholarship for Recipe Writing presented in honor of Julia Child. Sheri’s work has appeared in Gravy (named 2014 Publication of the Year by James Beard Foundation), Southern Living, Better Homes and Gardens, Fine Cooking, Eating Well, People Country, Gilt Taste, Eater, The Kitchn, NPR’s Kitchen Window, USA Today, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The TimesPicayune, The News & Observer, The Charlotte Observer, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Garden and Gun, The Local Palate, Epicurious, Eatocracy, Taste of the South, Food Republic, The Daily, Our State, WNC Magazine, Living in Style, Cornbread Nation 3 and 4, and numerous other magazines and cookbook anthologies, syndicated newspaper columns, websites, and blogs, such as Bitter Southerner, The Daily South, and The Kitchn.


In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine 2 1/4 cups water and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. When liquid comes to a simmer, stir in grits, stirring continuously as the liquid returns to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 15-20 minutes. Using a whisk or flat-edged wooden spoon, stir along bottom every 5 minutes or so to prevent the grits from scorching. When grits are creamy and tender, turn off heat, cover pot and set aside.
While grits are cooking, fill another small saucepan half full with water. Bring to a boil, and stir in butter beans. Return to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain.
While the beans and grits cook, prepare your mise en place: Pick thyme, and place stems in simmering butter beans. Dice tasso ham. Remove stem and seeds from sweet pepper; dice flesh. Thinly slice green onions. Cut corn kernels from the cobs and scrape the milky liquid from the cobs. Finely chop tomatoes. Peel and chop garlic.
Place a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon cooking oil. Add tasso (note that tasso is spicy; you can use half or less if you prefer a milder flavor). Cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to render its fat and change color slightly, 1-2 minutes.
Stir in sweet pepper, green onions, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Cover and cook 2 minutes, stirring midway. Stir in corn. Cover and cook 2 minutes, stirring midway. (It’s fine if the milky corn liquid browns, but reduce the heat if it begins to scorch.)
Stir in butter beans, tomatoes and garlic. Cook uncovered until the vegetables are barely tender, about 2 minutes more, stirring often. Stir in thyme. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
Stir butter into grits, and season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Adjust consistency as needed with a little hot water. Serve succotash over grits, and enjoy!