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Secret Ingredient of Summer Corn Dish

By Christopher Kimball, Milk Street by Christopher Kimball

The star of maque choux, one of Louisiana’s classic Cajun country dishes, is fresh summer corn. Naturally sweet almonds are deliciously balanced with a savory blend of vegetables and crayfish. But it can turn to the heavy side, largely thanks to the addition of cream.

To lighten up the recipe from our “Milk Street Tuesday Nights” book, which limits recipes to 45 minutes or less, we use an item that most cooks throw away – corn on the cob. Instead of weighing down the dish with dairy, which tends to dull the other flavors, we extract the “milk” from the corn. After cutting into the kernels, we use the back of the knife to scrape the cobs, releasing their starchy liquid to add a rich, creamy body that doesn’t overwhelm the other ingredients.

Pronounced “false shoe,” which would be a French inflection of a Native American word, this Creole classic is usually made with crawfish and/or tasso ham. Both are hard to find, so we opted for the andouille sausage for its smoky, meaty flavor. We also replaced the standard green pepper with a poblano pepper, which has an earthy flavor and mild heat.

Stirring a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar into the finished hash cleared it up even more.

Maque Choux with Andouille

Ingredients

  • 3 ears of corn, husks and silk removed
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • 6 ounces andouille sausage, halved lengthwise and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced

Preparation

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