"Maque Choux" Summer Salad
By Chef Jed Demler Maque Choux ("Mawk Shoe") is a Creole-meets-American-Indian dish, traditionally mixing corn with peppers and onions. My take adds tomatoes, fresh cream peas, and avocado. I also like to serve this style warm to room-temp instead of hot (although it is still delicious hot). Ingredients:
- 1 cup fresh cream peas (purple hull or crowder work as well)
- 2 cups fresh corn (3-4 ears taken off the cob)
- 1 jalapeno (seeded and diced) - may also use any bell pepper
- 1/2 cup diced onion (about 1/2 medium onion)
- 1 tomato diced (a handful of halved grape, cherry, or baby heirloom tomatoes also work well in this salad)
- 4 strips of bacon (you could use andouille sausage or ham)
- 1 large avocado
- 2 green onions (sliced - green tops only)
- 2 tablespoons fresh torn basil (try not to cut basil, it bruises very easily)
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
- A few dashes hot sauce (I like tabasco or Louisiana hot sauce for this)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- First, rinse and drain fresh peas.
- In a medium pot, cover the peas with heavily salted water (1 inch above peas) and bring to a boil. Lower heat to summer, cover, and cook until tender (45 minutes or so). Throw any scraps (bacon pieces, onion or garlic scraps, jalapeño stems) in the pot with the peas. It really reduces waste and adds a lot of flavor. Drain and set aside when cooked.
- While peas are cooking, fry bacon until crispy in a large, heavy bottom pan. Remove bacon and excess grease from pan and allow bacon to cool. Turn heat to medium high, add butter, onions, and jalapeno. Saute until onions are translucent and peppers are tender, about 3 minutes. Add corn, season with salt and pepper, and cook with onions and peppers for another 3-5 minutes. Add peas, water, and a few dashes of hot sauce, letting simmer until combines (another 3-5 minutes). Remove from heat and set in serving bowl, letting cool slightly. While cooling, you can seed and dice the avocado as well as chop the cooked bacon.
- To finish, toss the corn and pea mixture with basil, parsley, chopped bacon, green onion, diced avocado, and tomatoes. A little extra salt and pepper and maybe a shot of lemon/lime juice can give a little zing as well.