Our First Recipe – Celebration Succotash Ramekins

Hello, my name is Amy and my mission is to help my children learn how to cook.  I have a daughter and a son, who are 10 and 7 years old, respectively.  I am starting with my daughter because she is older, but I hope to also include my son in this experiment.  My daughter’s name is Willow and my son’s name is Westley.  We live on the Central Coast of California, where it never snows in winter and (at least for now) it hardly rains at all.

My mom gave me the book, “The New Making of a Cook,” by Madeleine Kamman, many years ago.  She got it from Costco and had originally bought it for herself, but she decided to give it to me because she had Kamman’s original “Making of a Cook” and thought I might like this new version.  I started reading it to understand what it was all about and it seems to me that it can be used as a textbook to teach someone how to cook.  I thought it would be fun to go through the book with my children to help them learn about how to cook and get them interested in the art and science of cooking.  I love cooking and I am fascinated by the science as well as the art of putting together ingredients to make something delicious to eat.  Here is a link to Amazon where you can find the book to purchase: The New Making of a Cook

Willow and I took a look at the book together and decided we would do one recipe from each of the book’s chapters once a week, going from the beginning to the end of each chapter.  So, this week, we started with the first recipe in the first chapter.  The first chapter is called “Miracles in a Shell: The Techniques of Egg Cookery.”  There is a lot of information in the chapter about how and why eggs are used, along with a diagram of the inside of an egg.  We skimmed that part for now, only checking the diagram of the egg to understand what the author meant by the word “albumen.”  Albumen is the white of an egg.

The first recipe in the chapter is for “Celebration Succotash Ramekins,” and the note says, “this shouldn’t be for every day; keep this presentation for a Sunday when friends or family are coming for breakfast or brunch.  In winter this also can make a pleasant lunch first course.”

Here is the recipe for Celebration Succotash Ramekins:

Celebration Succotash Ramekins printable recipe

FFR – 6 servings

One 10-ounce package frozen succotash

Pinch of granulated sugar

Salt

Pepper from the mill

1 tablespoon unsalted butter or unsaturated oil of your choice

2/3 cup heavy cream, scalded

6 large eggs

2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese of your choice

Preheat the oven to 325F.  Cook the succotash until tender in boiling water to cover seasoned with sugar, salt, and pepper.  Drain well.  Butter six 3-ounch custard cups with the butter.  Place an equal amount of the vegetables into each custard cup.  Add 2 tablespoons of the scalded cream to each cup.  Break each egg into a teacup and transfer to each ramekin, salt and pepper lightly, and cover each with 2 tablespoons of the cheddar.

Set the ramekins in a baking dish.  Bring a kettle of water to a boil and after setting the baking dish on the middle oven shelf, pour the boiling water into it.  Bake 12 to 14 minutes, until the white is firm, which you may test by inserting a skewer into the thickest part of the white.  If the skewer comes out clean, serve without delay.

As you can see, one of the ingredients was 2/3 cup scalded cream.  We had no idea how to scald cream, so we looked it up and found the directions at this website: how to make scalded cream.  We used the microwave method.  Here is the cream just before it went into the microwave.

Willow took the cream out of the microwave after a minute and stirred it.

We put it in for 30 seconds more after that.  Here is the cream after it was done in the microwave.

While the cream was being scalded I grated the cheese.

At our local grocery store, there was no frozen vegetable mix called “succotash,” so I bought a mix that included corn and lima beans.  I used my scale to measure 10 ounces, since the package was 12 ounces.

We cooked the vegetables as directed.

Meanwhile, we buttered the ramekins.  This was Willow’s first time buttering something and she had no idea how to do it, so I think she learned something here.

Our buttered ramekins.

We drained the vegetables when they were done.

Spooning in the vegetables.  We just made sure to put in about the same amount per cup.

Putting in the cream.  I suspect that scalding the cream reduced the volume of cream we had because we were short 2 tablespoons.  This might have been because I should have scalded the cream first, then measured 2/3 cup of it.  I am not sure.  I will have to try this again.  The recipe said to put 2 tablespoons of cream in each cup, so I just used some unscalded cream.  I don’t think there was much of a difference in the end product.

Willow loves cracking eggs.  Here she is cracking one into a teacup, as per the instructions.

Putting an egg in one of the ramekins.

I sprinkled in the cheese, at first doing only one tablespoon at a time because of the shortage issue with the cream.  I didn’t end up putting exactly 2 tablespoons of cheese per ramekin.  After putting in one tablespoon each, I evenly distributed what was left.

Willow took this photo of me pouring in the boiling water.

The ramekins after baking for 12 minutes.  They didn’t seem done, so we put them in for another 2 minutes.

The finished product!  They were creamy and buttery and very delicious.  We had them for dinner that night.  I would definitely make these again.

Willow and I had a fun time making these.  I am looking forward to making the next recipe.  We will be making Les Halles French Onion Soup.

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