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Maque Choux

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In the past decade or so, in New Orleans and the rest of south Louisiana, chefs have taken to making this traditional creamed corn or “corn pudding” more substantial – as in Crawfish Maque Choux or Blackened Chicken Maque Choux, or whatever. I prefer the more-or-less original notion as a side dish. It works especially well for family gatherings like Thanksgiving or Christmas, since it’s easy to make a larger batch without much measuring – home cooking at its finest..

 

1 onion, finely chopped

1 green bell pepper, finely chopped

1 stalk celery finely chopped

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons butter

Creole/Cajun seasoning

1 teaspoon lemon pepper

½ teaspoon paprika

4 cups frozen whole kernel corn, thawed

2 Roma tomatoes, chopped

1 cup Fischer & Wieser’s Salsa a la Charra

1 cup whole milk or half and half

Chopped green onions

 

In a large, heavy-bottom pot, lightly caramelize the onion, bell pepper and celery in the olive oil and butter, seasoning to taste with Creole/Cajun blend, lemon pepper and paprika. Add the corn, tomatoes, salsa and milk. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer and cook until corn is soft and sauce is thickened, about 20 minutes. Season to taste. Garnish with chopped green onions. Serves 8-10 as a side dish.

 

NOTE: I use whole milk, not reduced fat and certainly not skim, for this dish. If you want it lusher, you can use half and half or even heavy cream. And you can use more than this is you want the dish to be creamier.

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