Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Macque Choux Corn

I've just returned from a foodie dream trip to New Orleans. Foodie trip, because I ate my way through the city! Everything from old style down home cookin' to some of the newest and best chef's tasting menus. In the South, it's said with two syllables, Yum-mmm!

Here's my lightened up version of macque choux, say "mock shoe" corn. This tasty side dish is a perfect amalgam of Cajun seasonings and Native American corn. It's usually made with cream for thickening and to smooth the mouth feel. I've omitted the cream, using fresh corn "milk" for the smoothness on the palate and a potato masher to thicken. Voila, macque choux!

1 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped red pepper
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/4 to 1/2 cup water
4 ears corn
up to 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp hot sauce (optional)

Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add the onion, red pepper, jalapeno, garlic and spices and cook for about 5 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Shuck the corn, and cut the kernels from the cob. Rub the back of a knife along the cob to get all of the corn "milk". Add the water and corn kernels, along with the milky juice to the onion mixture, cover, and continue cooking for about 10 to 15 more minutes. Add more water if the mixture begins to stick. Use a potato masher to partially mash the mixture. Alternatively, you can blend about one third of the mixture for a pulse or two, then return it the pan. Taste, then adjust the seasoning by adding salt and hot sauce.

Serves 4

Stealthy Cooking Tip: Remember that corn is a grain, and treat this dish accordingly. Serve this as a side with grilled or roast chicken, along with a salad. Now that's a healthy Cajun style meal.

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