Monday, December 12, 2011

Maque Choux – Spicy Cajun Corn

 In the hotel suite in Cairo, I have a two-burner stove.  With confidence, I went out and bought two cooking vessels:  a frying pan and a small pot.  What you can’t cook in those two, really doesn’t need cooking, right?  Funny thing is, they can’t sit on the stove together.   Yeah, I know I have a strange sense of humor but when I got back from Carrefour and realized that I had overestimated my space allotment, it made me laugh.  Oh, well, it gets more and more like camping.  And I enjoy a challenge. 

Dinner was simple, spaghetti Bolognaise, so I am not going to bore you with that recipe.  Instead, here are instructions for another Louisiana specialty that Thanksgiving or Christmas at our house would not be Thanksgiving or Christmas without.  While the ham was baking the other day, this was one of the two other dishes I made to bring along to the Christmas party.

My grandmothers made maque choux from fresh sweet corn on the cob, first cutting the niblets off and then scraping the cob to get the “milk” out.  Many places I have lived over the years didn’t have sweet corn, just what we would call cows’ corn – hard and indigestible for humans, used only as feed for cattle – so I learned that frozen corn is an excellent substitute.  And when your fresh cobs are not so juicy, the frozen is actually closer what my grandmothers would have used.

About 3 lbs or 1.350kg frozen sweet corn 
1 medium or two small green bell peppers or capsicums
2 medium onions
3 medium red ripe tomatoes
7 oz or 200g butter
Olive oil
1/2 cup or 120ml whole milk
Sea salt

Halve the tomatoes and discard the seeds.  Chop the tomatoes, onions and bell peppers.

Sautee the vegetables in the butter with just a glug of olive oil added.   

When the onions are translucent, add in the corn.  

Add the milk and then the sea salt and cayenne to taste.  

Cook over a slow fire until the corn is soft and the other vegetables are almost a memory.  My mom likes the corn still crunchy so, if you agree with her, about 10-15 minutes will probably do.  I cooked this about 30-45 minutes because I wanted it soft and I wanted it to dry out just a bit.  

 This is meant to be a spicy dish so don't be shy with the cayenne! 


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