Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Cajun Corn and Bacon Maque Choux

To reiterate:  Maque choux  a traditional dish of southern Louisiana. (It is thought to be an amalgam of Creole and American Indian cultural influence; the name is more than likely to be derived from the French interpretation of the Native American name) It usually contains corn, green bell pepper, onion, and sometimes garlic, celery, and tomato. The ingredients are braised in a pot. Historically bacon grease was used for the braising stage, although various combinations of oil, butter, or cream may be substituted. (that is why Chef Paul's family favorite recipe I'd given before is a lighter variation) The vegetables are then left to simmer until they reach a tender consistency, with chicken stock or water added as necessary. The dish is generally finished with salt and a combination of red and black pepper. Some cooks include hot sauce and a bit of sugar for greater complexity. Here's another one not by Chef Paul.

    6 ears corn, husked and cleaned
    2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    1 large onion, thinly sliced
    1 cup green bell pepper, chopped
    1 large fresh tomato, chopped
    1/4 cup milk
    salt to taste
    cayenne pepper
    1/4 cup chopped green onions
    8 strips crisply cooked bacon, crumbled
    Add all ingredients to list
    Cut corn off the cobs by thinly slicing across the tops of the kernels; place in a medium bowl. Cut across the kernels again to release milk from the corn, add milk to bowl. Set aside.
    Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and green pepper, cook until onion is transparent, about 5 to 8 minutes. Combine corn, tomatoes, and milk with the onion mixture. Reduce heat to medium low, and cook 20 minutes longer, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Do not boil. Season with salt and cayenne pepper. Lower heat, cover skillet, and cook 5 to 10 minutes longer. Stir in green onions and bacon. Remove from heat and serve.

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