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I haven’t been home much lately. I’ve been busy being part of the opening of a great new restaurant. I’ve fine tuned brunch, dinner, and dessert menus to perfection over the last month. So when it came time to cook for Abby and I on my afternoon off, I wanted to keep it the way I like to cook at home, simple and fresh.

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No measurements. Just me, my knife, the radio and an ice cold beer. Nobs would wander in the kitchen and pick up a piece of corn every now and then if it fell on the floor. I took my time and relaxed in the kitchen for the first time in weeks. When it came time to add some stock to the succotash, I realized I didn’t have any so I improvised and added a pale ale. I have been a fan of this lately because once the alcohol cooks off, the beer offers a complex sweetness otherwise difficult to obtain. I also got to highlight one of my golden rules, cook with what you drink!

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I used almost everything in the recipe from our garden or CSA share. The corn is as sweet as sugar right now in Minnesota and the tomatoes are exploding off the vines. The andouille sausage adds a little more spice and fullness to the dish, but it is easily kept out for a vegetarian approach.

This is a perfect cook in advance and reheat later meal. Anything grilled deserves this as an accompaniment. I’m sure some of you have experienced the relaxation in the kitchen I felt cooking this, and I hope you feel it again soon.

End of Summer Succotash
{gluten-free}

2 red onions chopped
2 yellow onions chopped
6 ears of corn, kernels cut off the cob
5 red peppers, seeded and chopped
10 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
3 andouille sausage (about a half pound)
6 kale leaves, rib taken out and sliced
3 cloves garlic chopped
1 beer (we used a pale ale)

fresh herbs – sage, parsley, or cilantro

Throw the onions in a heavy bottomed pot with enough oil to coat the bottom. Add a generous sprinkle of salt and black pepper and sweat for two minutes over medium heat. Add the corn, then crank up the heat and saute hard for one minute to release some of the sugar in the corn. Next add everything else and dial back the heat to medium. Cook for about twenty minutes. Then remove from heat for about fifteen minutes to let the cooking liquid settle back into the succotash. Add any fresh herbs at this point to finish.

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