My maque choux takes your tongue on a flavor-popping joy ride through tunnels of alternating sweet and heat, y'all. Right-off-the-cob seasoned corn, fried down in a pan with browned Cajun trinity veggies. Then, topped with an amazing sauce featuring Rotel, broth, parsley, and cream that literally engulfs each piece, swelling it all with deep, earthy flavors and textures that are truly like nothing else you've ever eaten before. Yep and yay...
This One's Been Around, Y'all...
Maque choux is a classic south Louisiana corn-based side dish that also contains onions, bell peppers, celery, and tomatoes. The mixture is usually cooked down with a bit of broth, and either milk or water. This method ensures that the veggies are soft and tender with just a hint of juice that makes them pair well with freshly cooked rice.
Pronounced 'mock shoe,' historians believe that the dish is a mixture of Creole and Native American influences that may have originally centered around cabbage instead of corn. It somehow intermingled into the Cajun culture long ago, with family recipes going back many generations still being cooked today.
My version uses a mix of fresh and canned ingredients. Collectively, they add a balanced depth of flavor that keeps the corn maque choux authentic yet just a touch unusual. What also stands out in my original take is the spiciness of the Rotel tomatoes and the rich, almost stew-like base flavor that deepens delectably from the first bite to the last.
- I took the extra time to use fresh corn on the cob. But, you can also use drained canned corn or even thawed frozen corn to make the dish. The texture may be different if you don't use fresh corn. However, the taste should be extremely similar as long as your ingredients have been purchased recently.
- The Cajun trinity veggies of onion, celery, and green bell pepper ensure that the maque choux contains the traditional flavors and textures of the region. Don't skip them, they're super important.
- You can use your choice of oil or butter in this recipe.
- Canned Rotel tomatoes bring the traditional element into the dish with the addition of a little heat that makes this version deliciously different from the others.
- Evaporated milk lends a super creamy component to the dish that complements the spicy Rotel perfectly. You can also use regular milk or heavy cream.
- The chopped parsley puts a finishing earthy touch on the corn maque choux recipe. Use dried parsley in its place but do not substitute it with another herb, as it just won't be the same.
- I use Swanson gluten free chicken broth in this dish. But, you can also use water if you don't have any on hand.
How to Make Maque Choux
Start by seasoning the corn with salt, pepper, and cayenne.
Now, make the sauce in a separate bowl.
Get your cast iron skillet going over medium heat. Then, add the Cajun trinity veggies and oil or butter.
Now, cook until the veggies are about ¾ of the way browned.
Add the seasoned corn to the skillet.
Give it a good stir. Then, let the corn 'fry' with the browned veggies for several minutes.
Finally, add the sauce to the pan. Turn down the heat, then cook until all of the flavors are combined and the maque choux sauce reduces.
And that's it, y'all!
The first thing you notice about this maque choux is how varied the incredible flavors and textures are in each bite. Next, you realize that you absolutely adore the graduated heat levels that have come to rest on your tongue as you have worked your way through your serving.
Then, at the finale, you realize that you could never, ever get tired of a dish like this, and you've thought of at least 10 more main dish recipes you want to serve it with in the very near future. Indeed.
Share this scrumptious maque choux with those who are as unforgettably unique as they are incredibly modest. Much food love, and see y'all on the yum side...
Maque Choux Storage
Store the leftovers covered in the fridge for up to three days.
When serving guests, cook and serve the maque choux in a cast iron skillet. It'll save you time and create a beautifully rustic presentation that really does the dish culinary poetic justice.
Yes, it is a bit spicy, actually. Use the mild Rotel if you want less spice. If you don't want any spice at all, use diced or stewed tomatoes.
Sort of! If you want to make it ahead, brown the Cajun trinity veggies and corn. Let them cool, cover and refrigerate. Then, when ready to serve, bring them to room temperature, cover them with sauce, and continue the recipe as written.
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Note: This post was originally published on September 15, 2019, and updated and republished on August 14, 2023.
- 4 cups corn freshly shucked is best, but any will do
- salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons butter or oil
- 1 medium-sized yellow onion, chopped
- 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 celery ribs, trimmed and chopped
For the Spicy Cajun Corn Maque Choux Sauce
- ¼ cup evaporated milk
- ⅓ cup chicken broth Swanson is gluten free
- ½ cup Rotel tomatoes with juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves, chopped
- additional salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste
- Season the corn liberally with the salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. 4 cups corn,
- Stir all of the sauce ingredients together in another bowl. ¼ cup evaporated milk
- Place a well-greased cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
- Brown the Cajun trinity of onion, bell pepper and celery in the skillet using the 3 tablespoons of oil or butter. 1 medium-sized yellow onion, chopped
- When the trinity is about ¾ of the way browned, add the corn to the pan. Cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes. or until the trinity is browned completely and the corn 'fries' up in the skillet. Stir often.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low. Stir in the sauce. Cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until the sauce reduces by at least half and is well-incorporated into the corn.
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