Maque Choux 8.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Aug 11, 2017

This side dish shows up on a lot of Thanksgiving tables in New Orleans. Use the freshest corn you can find, and don't skimp on the bacon fat.

To read the accompanying story, see: How a 50-year-old community cookbook became a mainstay in almost every Cajun kitchen.


Servings:
8

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 8 servings; about 8 cups

Ingredients
  • 8 ears corn, shucked
  • 1/2 cup rendered bacon fat
  • 1/2 medium white onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup peeled, chopped tomato (see NOTE)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Use a sharp chef’s knife to cut off the corn kernels inside a large mixing bowl, then use the blunt side of the blade to scrape each cleaned cob, letting their milky liquid drip into the bowl as well. (Reserve the cobs for making broth, if desired.)

Heat the bacon fat in a large skillet or saute pan over medium heat. Once it’s sizzling, pour into heatproof measuring cup.

Add the corn and its liquid, the onion, bell pepper, tomato and sugar to the skillet. Season generously with salt and pepper, stirring to incorporate. Pour the hot bacon fat over the corn mixture; reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Taste and add more salt and/or pepper, as needed. Serve warm.

NOTE: To peel the tomatoes, use a knife to score a wide, shallow "X" on the bottom of each one. Place in a pot of boiling water for about a minute, or just until you see the peels starting to pull back at the cuts. Transfer to a colander. When cool enough to handle, peel and discard the skins.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from a recipe by Mrs. P.J. Blanchet Jr. in “Talk About Good!” by the Junior League of Lafayette, La. (Favorite Recipes Press, 1969 edition).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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