Maque Choux with Shrimp
By June Naylor
Photo by Ralph Lauer
Chef Molly McCook’s proud Louisiana heritage shines through in much of her cooking at Ellerbe Fine Foods, the Fort Worth restaurant she owns with childhood friend Richard King. One of the few items that has never left her menu in nearly 11 years is maque choux, a dish the chef considers a quintessential taste of Louisiana. She notes that the rich corn concoction tends to fly under the radar — unlike gumbo or jambalaya — yet it has all the hallmarks of the cuisine of her roots. “It’s one of those dishes that every grandmother makes a bit different; there is no one true recipe. Of course, everyone thinks their version is the best.” An ideal addition to this month’s Mardi Gras celebrations, this maque choux with shrimp makes a fine accompaniment to grilled redfish or blackened rib-eye.
- 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
- 2 ounces applewood-smoked bacon, diced into small pieces
- 1½ cups fresh corn cut from the cob, approximately 2 ears
- ½ cup yellow onion, peeled and diced into small pieces
- ½ cup celery, diced into small pieces
- ¼ cup green bell pepper, diced into small pieces
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt • Pinch black pepper
- ¼ cup half-and-half
- 8 large, raw Gulf shrimp, peeled and deveined, or ½ cup raw bay shrimp
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon lemon juice
Heat butter in saute pan over medium-high heat. Add bacon to melted butter and cook until it begins to brown at edges.
Add corn, stir to combine and saute for about 3 minutes or just until it begins to brown. Add onion, celery, bell pepper, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and cook 3 more minutes or until vegetables begin to soften.
Pour in half-and-half, stirring to combine. Continue to stir until half-and-half reduces and begins to form a sticky sauce.
Reduce the temperature to medium-low, add shrimp and tomatoes and toss to combine.
Saute until shrimp are cooked through, approximately 3 minutes per side.
Remove from heat and sprinkle with parsley and lemon juice.