I already knew I loved maque choux, the Cajun combination of corn and okra. I figured it would be an easy fit for shrimp. This recipe from Saveur hits all the right notes. The jalapeño adds a bit of spice, the corn a little sweetness, and the bacon, well...it does what it does. But what I love best is how the okra helps bind each bite together.
This all comes together really fast. The bacon is cooked off, and then removed. The fat left in the pan is used to cook everything else. The only exception are the shrimp, which are cooked quickly underneath the broiler. I wondered why this wasn't just a one-skillet meal, but the broiler method works quickly and well. The shrimp come out tender and juicy, and pair beautifully with the maque choux. The only thing it needed was a little hot sauce to help kick it into gear.
- 2 slices bacon, chopped
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, finely chopped
- 1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
- 5 small okra, stemmed, thinly sliced
- 10 ounces frozen corn
- 4 scallions, white parts discarded, green parts thinly sliced
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 8 ounces medium shrimp, peeled, tails left on
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Add bacon to heavy-bottomed 12-inch stainless steel skillet set over medium-high. Cook until crisp, stirring often with a wooden spoon, about seven minutes. Turn off heat. Remove bacon with slotted spoon, leaving as much fat in the skillet as possible. Set bacon aside.
Add one tablespoon butter to skillet. Return heat to medium-high and add garlic, shallots, peppers, and jalapenos. Cook until shallots are lightly browned, about five minutes. Turn heat to high and add okra and corn. Cook, stirring often, until corn is lightly browned, about six minutes.
Turn off heat, add butter and scallions, and stir well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Meanwhile, place top oven rack about eight inches from boiler. Preheat broiler to high. Toss shrimp with oil and pinch of salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer on an aluminum foiled-lined baking sheet. Place underneath broiler and cook for three to four minutes total. Flip halfway through with pair of tongs. Shrimp should be pink.
Serve shrimp on top of maque choux. Garnish with bacon.