Maque Choux

This old Louisiana dish is best made with fresh sweet corn cob right out of the garden cut and scraped from the cob, not only for incomparable taste, but also for the starchy corn “milk” that does double duty as a creamer and a thickener.

If you can find fresh corn, by all means use it, but for most of us—and for most of the year—the best substitution is frozen sweet corn kernels and heavy cream. This recipe is very basic; purists might even leave out the tomatoes. Smoked sausage is a nice option, as is shrimp.

Cut four or five strips of bacon into one-inch pieces and cook in a heavy skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon, cool, and crumble. To the drippings, add one large yellow onion, a cup of diced sweet pepper, and two minced cloves of garlic. Cook until the vegetables are soft.

Add bacon bits, along with 3 cups fresh sweet corn (scrape the juice from the cob) or a 16 oz. sack of frozen sweet corn, and a drained 14 oz. can of petite diced tomatoes. Mix well until heated through, add about a half cup or so of heavy cream, reduce heat, and stir until the vegetables are coated.

Salt and pepper to taste; some people like this dish on the sweet side, some like cayenne pepper—or Tony Chachere’s—for a kick.