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Secret ingredient from summer corn lifts dish – Tricks and Tips

Secret ingredient from summer corn lifts dish

By Christopher Kimball, Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street

The star of maque choux, one of the classic dishes of Louisiana’s Cajun country, is fresh summer corn. Naturally sweet kernels are in delicious balance with a savory mix of vegetables and crawfish. But it can veer to the heavy side, thanks largely to the addition of cream.

To lighten the recipe for our book “Milk Street Tuesday Nights,” which limits recipes to 45 minutes or less, we utilize an element that most cooks throw out — the corn cobs. Instead of weighing down the dish with dairy, which tends to dull other flavors, we extract the “milk” of the corn. After cutting the kernels off, we use the back of the knife to scrape the cobs, releasing their starchy liquid to add rich, creamy body that doesn’t overwhelm other ingredients.

Pronounced “mock shoe,” which is said to be a French inflection of a Native American word, this Creole classic usually is made with crawfish and/or tasso ham. Both are hard to come by, so we opted for andouille sausage for its smoky, meaty flavor. We also swapped the standard green bell pepper for a poblano chili, which has an earthy flavor and mild heat.

Stirring a tablespoon of cider vinegar into the finished hash brightened it even more.

Maque Choux with Andouille Sausage

Ingredients

  • 3 ears of corn, husks and silk removed
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • 6 ounces andouille sausage, halved lengthwise and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 poblano chili, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced

Preparation