Today’s post is literally short and sweet, and just in time for the Labor Day holiday here.
It’s another little recipe for using fresh corn off the cob, one based on a traditional Cajun recipe, but mine took a small departure with the ingredients I had on hand, and hence its name: “Mock” Maque Choux. For one thing, I wanted some of that smoky flavor you get with using sausage or pork in this dish, but I had no sausage. What I did have was chipotles in adobo, and since the adobo sauce has some smoky heat that goes so well with sweet…how about that as a substitute?
In the end, this is a vegetarian version that acts as more of a side dish, but you could easily add some andouille sausage or tasso, or top it with some grilled shrimp to this if you like. Meat or no, it’s a wonderful, sweet, spicy and rich corn preparation, perfect for a holiday grill out or any time.
“Mock” Maque Choux
Makes 6 servings
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
5 ears of fresh corn, husks and silks removed
1/2 of a peeled and finely diced red onion
1 cup of finely diced celery
1 small orange bell pepper (or you can use red or green), seeded and finely diced
1 1/2 Tablespoons adobo sauce from canned chipotle chilis
2 Tablespoons of finely minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons kosher salt A few grinds of fresh black pepper
1 1/2 cups small diced grape tomatoes
1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil leaves
Additional chiffonade of basil leaves for garnish
Cut the kernels of corn off the cob with a sharp knife into a bowl, cutting about 3/4 through each kernel. Take the reserved cobs and scrape the back of your knife down the cob to extract any milk, letting it run into a separate small bowl. Reserve the corn milk.
Melt the butter in a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium heat. Add the corn, onion, celery, bell pepper, adobo sauce, thyme, a couple of grinds of black pepper and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook for 15 to 18 minutes, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are tender. Add the garlic, tomatoes, corn milk, 1 tablespoon of fresh basil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Continue to cook for another 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste for seasoning and add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, if desired, and a bit more freshly ground black pepper. Serve with a garnish of more fresh basil and enjoy!
Corn milk…not exactly milk, not exactly corn!
First round of veggies and corn.
Add tomatoes, garlic and corn milk.
Add the basil and you’re almost done.
This is our other kitty girl, Cinderella. She is very flighty and hard to snap. She’s pretty disgusted with staying in the basement while the workmen are here.