Monday, July 17, 2006

Maquechoux for ARF/5-A-Day Tuesday

America The Beautiful Cookbook Copyright 1990

6 ears of corn
2 bacon strips
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
½ cup light cream or half & half I used fat-free half & half
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Cut kernels from 2 ears of corn into a bowl. Using a sharp knife, cut the kernels from the remaining ears to only half their depth. Then, with the back of the knife (I used a corn scraper), scrape up and down each cob to remove all the pulp and ‘milk’. Add to the bowl. The mixture will resemble scrambled eggs.

Sauté the bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Drain on paper towels, crumble and set aside.

Add the onion and bell pepper to the bacon drippings and cook for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and sugar. Cook for 3 more minutes. Stir in the corn and cream. Cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with the bacon. I crumbled the bacon right in.

Serves 6.

Phew! I just had a bit of a scare. Mixed Salad Annie e-mailed me that my blog was blank and indeed it was. I re-published and there it was. And then my heart started beating again. It was there yesterday and I didn't add any posts since then. I did save a couple of drafts last night - you wouldn't think that would affect anything but apparently it did. There's no understanding Blogger.

Well, I finally got my act together and I have another contribution to Sweetnick's ARF/5-A-Day Tuesday. It's a good one too. Corn is rich in a couple of the B-vitamins (B1 and B5), folate (1 cup provides 19% of the daily value), vitamin C, phosphorous and manganese. It also has lots of fiber. One cup has over 18% of the daily value for fiber. Along with the onions, green bell peppers and tomatoes, I think we can all pretend we didn't see those two strips of bacon in there.

Maquechoux or maque choux (pronounced 'mock shoe') is a dish from Louisiana, a recipe from the Native Americans introduced to the Cajuns. I've also seen it referred to as 'smothered corn'. There are many variations of this recipe but corn, bell peppers, onions and tomato seem to be standard. Cream isn't always added and sometimes butter or oil replaces the bacon but personally I thought the bacon was really important to this recipe. Other variations add celery, green onion and I may even have seen some add jalapeño peppers. You can also add cayenne and make this as spicy as you want it.

This was a nice way to use some of the fresh corn that is just coming out here. I wasn't happy with my corn. It was local and I was excited to see it was white corn, which is usually much sweeter than the yellow, but it wasn't as sweet and flavorful as I had hoped. Luckily, this recipe made up for the sub-par corn - it would have made for some really disappointing corn on the cob.

This got a bit grainy, probably from using the fat-free half&half, but that didn't affect the taste.

One of the best things is that I got to use the corn scraper an online friend sent me a while back. It looks like a potato peeler but she assured me that it wasn't. It was great for getting all of that corn milk out of the corn.

I love this cookbook. It's gorgeous, it has a great variety of recipes, it has wonderful writing and information about food in America and the few recipes I've tried have been great (I can't wait for cooler weather to make Old-Time Beef Stew again). BUT, they really fudged the pictures to make them look prettier. There was a corn salad picture that showed not a trace of the creamy dressing that was part of the recipe. The picture of the maquechoux was beautiful, but again, it didn't look anything like the finished product really looks. I really hate when they do that.

Question of the Day: What's your most unusual kitchen gadget?


Heather said...

I don't know if you call it a gadget, but my brown sugar bear is pretty weird.

MommyProf said...

I've never heard of a corn scraper. I have a thing called a Kwik Kut that is basically like a biscuit cutter with nasty serrated teeth that is good for chopping jobs. It also stays in its box on a high shelf, away from inquisitive fingers.

Annie said...

I actually had to get up and look in my kitchen to see if I had any UNUSUAL kitchen gadgets. I love my gadgets but they are all pretty standard, the closest thing to unusual is my pancake spatula(very wide,round and somewhat flimsy).
P.s. I'm glad everything turned out ok with your blog, I was a bit worried!

ThursdayNext said...

The potato ricer!

H0kie Erin said...

I have an Egg-stractor. My father was intrigued by one and you got 2 when you ordered. I can work it 25% of the time. lol

Anonymous said...

It's not unusual, but may not be in every kitchen: shrimp cleaner. It's a yellow plastic dealie that goes lengthwise down raw shrimp. It cuts the shell and removes the vein at the same time.


Anonymous said...

This is rather after the fact, but I just ran across, in a kitchen drawer, a popcorn ball maker. It probably is very handy, but I don't remember ever using it. Haven't made popcorn balls but maybe two times in my life - and my life covers a LOT of years!