Chalk this up as another dish I'd never heard of before. I just had some corn, a few tomatoes, and a bell pepper from the market and needed a way to use them. Then I found Macque choux (sometimes spelled maque choux) in the Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook and was seduced by the history. According to the Lee Brothers, this dish could have been here way before the Europeans settled in Southern Louisiana. A riff on succotash, it's sweet and simple—probably why it's such a staple in the area.
Plus it tastes real good. The tomato disintegrates into a surprisingly luscious sauce. That's one reason why the tomato skins don't need peeling. This is how the Lee brothers suggest getting the deal done, though I usually just take a peeler and gently peel it off. It requires a little more finesse, but it works well for me. Like ratatouille, it's another one of those perfect seasonal dishes.
About the author: Nick Kindelsperger is a freelance writer in Chicago. He is the co-founder of The Paupered Chef and spends most of his time playing with the new cooking gadgets he got from his wedding.
Corn Macque Choux
- 3 ears fresh corn
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 medium tomato
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 medium onion, diced
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Cut the kernels off the corn with a large knife. Then, using a spoon, scrape the cob to remove as much of corn juice as possible.
Bring a small pot of water to boil. Score an "x" on the bottom of the tomato with a knife. Plunge it into the boiling water for thirty seconds. Then remove, and when cool enough to handle, peel. Remove the seeds and chop.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the corn, tomatoes, and water and cook, stirring occasionally for 3 minutes. Add the bell pepper, onion, sugar, salt, and black pepper. Stir frequently and cook for 12 minutes.