I knew Branson, Missouri was an excellent music destination but it wasn’t until I visited that I learned that it is also a foodie’s delight. To me succotash was cream corn with lima beans. I thought some ingenious mom found a way to get her family to eat lima beans by adding them to the cream corn.
During my stay in Branson I learned that there is an entirely different succotash, one that is delicious. Actually, it was just one of Branson’s surprises. I had always thought that Branson was solely just country music but learned that the shows feature music from country to soul to pop. Another surprise was Silver Dollar City, which I pictured as a typical theme park with the main feature being rides. Yes, there are 30 exciting rides but one has to seek them out as they are located on the perimeter of the tree-filled park.
Family-owned Silver Dollar City grew around Marvel Cave, one of nature’s wonders. Surrounding the entrance to the cave is a theme park where at one time stood the mining town of Marmaros. Today the area is filled with over 100 craftsmen making lye soap, candles, furniture and blowing glass. But it was the aromas that drew me to Sullivan’s Mill where the pastry chef was just taking huge cinnamon rolls out of the oven and then to Brown’s Candy shop where fresh peanut brittle was hardening. But it was Buckshot Annie’s Skillet Cookery that really caught my attention. On a huge skillet Missouri’s version of succotash was cooking. The Missouri version is a meal in itself containing corn, chicken, onions, and peppers.
It was my lucky day because I was scheduled for a cooking class at Silver Dollar City’s Culinary & Craft School. Debbie Dance Uhrigh, a Master Craftsman of Culinary Arts explained that succotash can include whatever vegetables and/or meats are available. Uhrigh explained that her show kitchen did not have any fancy equipment. She likes to prepare food in a simply manner the old-fashioned way because she found cooking a great way to get rid of the days stress by stirring, beating, and kneading.
Silver Dollar City’s Succotash
1 lb. lightly breaded okra
8 ounces frozen whole kernel corn
8 ounces yellow summer squash
8 ounces slice red potatoes – precook in an oven at 350 for 30 minutes
8 ounces diced pre-cooked chicken (or leftovers)
4 ounces sliced green peppers
4 ounces sliced onions
1 tsp. garlic power
1 tsp. black pepper
Butter-flavored vegetable oil as needed
Sauté onions and peppers in oil. Remove from skillet. Sauté chicken in same skillet with the oil. Remove after heating thoroughly. Sauté corn, squash, and potatoes in same skillet. Remove. Fry okra until golden brown. Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Add all the other ingredients to the skillet and heat to desired temperature. Serves four as a main dish.