Friday, August 26, 2011

Incredibly Quick and Easy Corn Maque Choux

Sorry for not posting in a while. I'm working on a couple projects that I'm excited to share, but they're very much a work in progress right now.

For now, a super simple recipe for corn maque choux, which is a Creole/Cajun side dish consisting of corn, onions, bell peppers, lots of spice, and some cream. My version is a loose interpretation, because I've never had actual southern maque choux, but it's tasty nonetheless. It also falls under my favorite category of cooking: shit you just throw in a pan without measuring.

You'll need:
1 small onion, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced (if you like things extra spicy, sub a jalapeno with the seeds, etc. removed; and if you don't feel like buying 2 different kinds of bell pepper, use the other half of the red. No big.)
A couple handfuls of corn kernels (I buy the frozen fire-roasted kind from Trader Joe's, but any kind will work. This isn't rocket science.)
A splash or two of cream, half-and-half or milk (you'll want a little sprinkle of flour to thicken up the last one though.
A couple spoonfuls of Essence of Emeril (find the recipe here or buy it at the grocery store. I like to make it without salt so I can season whatever I'm making to my taste)
1 T. butter

Saute the onions and peppers in olive oil or butter (or a mixture) on medium/medium-high until soft, then add the corn.

Add a generous pinch of salt, then sprinkle on the Essence. It'll be about a teaspoon, but taste it and adjust. If you used a jalapeno, you might want less because there's cayenne in the spice blend. If you're ballsy, you might want more. I'm on the ballsy side, myself.

Cook, stirring occasionally for a few minutes. Or longer. Whatever. The longer the flavors meld the better, but it's perfectly passable after just a couple minutes.

Here I like to throw on a pat of butter, then a light sprinkling of flour. After it's all incorporated, cook a minute longer, then add your liquid dairy product of choice. Again, if you use milk with a lower fat content, go ahead and be a bit more liberal with the flour.

And you're done! My favorite way to serve this is with a few very lightly seasoned sauteed shrimp on top. And feel free to garnish with some scallion, parsley, or cilantro for a bit of brightness.

Serves 2, or 1 if you're really hungry.

Make it and let me know how it turns out, okay?

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