Pronounced "MOCK SHOE", this is a dish that the Cajuns got from the Native American tribes that populated southwest Louisiana. It's wonderful, and you can vary the recipe by adding chicken, crawfish tails or even crabmeat. But most of the time I like it just like this ...
Shuck the corn and remove all of the cornsilk. Hold each cob over a bowl and cut the kernels away in layers (don't cut whole kernels), then scrape the knife along the cob to get all of the "milk" out of it.
- 1 dozen ears fresh sweet corn
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1-1/2 cups onions, finely chopped
- 1 large green bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 large red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 3 ribs celery, finely chopped
- 3 large ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup evaporated milk
Melt the butter in a large saucepan or pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, celery and tomatoes and saute until the onions are transparent, about 10 minutes. Stir in the salt and peppers, then add the corn and milk from the cobs, the sugar and evaporated milk and stir well. Reduce heat to medium and cook until the corn is tender, about 10-15 more minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste.
Here's a version popular at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival:
CRAWFISH CORN MAQUECHOUX
In large saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Add all other ingredients except the crawfish and cook covered until corn starts to get tender, about 15 minutes. Add crawfish and continue cooking until corn is tender, about five more minutes.
- 1 dozen fresh ears of corn cut off the cob, or 2 pounds frozen corn
- 4 ounces unsalted butter
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 fresh tomato, peeled, seeded and diced
- 1/2 pound cooked crawfish tail meat
- Cayenne and black pepper to taste
- Salt to taste
Yield: 12 servings.
"This," said a very well-travelled friend of mine with a highly educated palate, "is the best maquechoux I have ever had in my life." Not an exaggeration. It's truly heavenly, and all it took was a lil' crab stock and a lil' crabmeat. You use claw crabmeat for this dish, which is about 1/3 or even less than the cost of jumbo lump. Get a few crab shells to make a stock that will go a long way toward giving this dish an incredible flavor.
This maquechoux variation comes from Chef John Besh, of Restaurant August in New Orleans. When he was chef at Artesia, he made this dish to serve as a bed for parmesan- and flour-encrusted cobia (lemonfish) fillets.
In a large saute pan heat 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat and add the small diced onions. Cook the onions, while stirring constantly, until translucent but not brown. Add the peppers, garlic, and celery and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes or until the peppers and celery have become tender.
- 8 large cars of local sweet corn
- 1 yellow onion, small diced
- 2 large red gypsy peppers (or bell peppers if unavailable), small diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, mincd
- 1 stalk celery, small diced
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
- 1 large ripe tomato, seeded and rough chopped
- 1 cup crab broth
- 1/4 pound crab claw meat, picked for shells
- 4 tablespoons chilled butter
Add the sweet corn that has been shucked and cut from the cob, then add the crab stock. Reduce the liquid by one half, then season with salt, fresh ground black pepper and cayenne pepper to taste.
"Mount" the corn mixture with chilled butter (one tablespoon at a time, stirring until melted, then adding more), crab claw meat and chives, then remove from heat and reserve in a warm place until ready to serve.
YIELD: 8 servings
vegetables and side dishes | creole and cajun recipe page
the gumbo pages | search this site
Chuck Taggart (e-mail chuck)