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Cajun Maque Choux

Pronounced "Mock Shoe". This is a Cajun dish adopted from the native Americans found around the southern delta area. You can think of it as a sweet and spicy cream corn dish, and it is fabulous!

The variation on this dish is seemingly endless but once you catch on to the basic idea it becomes easy to see how it can be modified in so many ways, as long as you stick to the basic notion of cream corn - plus whatever you like.

3 cups fresh corn removed from cob (or frozen niblets)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons margarine
1 cup onions, finely chopped
1 large red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
1-15 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
teaspoon cayenne pepper
teaspoon white pepper
2 tablespoons sugar
cup evaporated milk
1 large egg

To be traditional shuck the corn and remove all of the corn silk. 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. However I have used Green Giant frozen niblets and it turned out fine.

Melt the butter in a heavy skillet and add the corn, onion, bell pepper, celery, salt, sugar, cayenne and white pepper. Cook over high heat for about 13-15 minutes (the corn needs to release its starch and coat the bottom of the pan) stirring occasionally and scraping the pan bottom. Towards the end of the time you should be scraping continuously.

Add the tomatoes along with any juice from the can and cutting board. Stir and scrape the pan as it deglazes. Continue to cook for 5 minutes. Add the margarine and 1/4 cup of the milk. Cook for about 5 minutes until the margarine is completely melted then reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes (most of the liquid should be absorbed).

During this last cooking stage beat the remaining 1/4 cup of milk with the egg until it becomes frothy (about one minute). When the last simmering stage completes add the egg and milk mixture, combine thoroughly and serve.


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