It's not French, and there's no cabbage (choux) involved.
Culinary historians think this Louisiana classic that combines New World vegetables with Old World technique comes from the native American influence on the French Acadians expelled from Nova Scotia. Even withoutthe interesting backstory, maque choux (pronounced "mock shoe") is delicious.
While this version includes bacon, smoky andouille sausage or tasso ham are fine meaty substitutes. A handful of Louisiana dried shrimp would also be a tasty if unorthodox addition. Or you can make it with just vegetables.
What You'll Need
For the shopping list
- 2 large Astiana tomatoes (substitute 3-4 smaller tomatoes)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 3-4 ears fresh corn, kernels removed
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 2 slices of bacon*, chopped
- 1/4 cup of dried shrimp (optional)
- To taste black pepper, freshly ground
- 1 tablespoon of thyme
- *Tasso ham, andouille, or smoked sausage would all work, or the meat can be left out.
From the kitchen
- 1 Chef Knife
- 1 Cutting Board
- 1 Heavy Skillet
- 1 Grater
"Grating tomatoes might not have originated in Spain, but cooking Spanish food introduced me to this great (pun intended) technique."
~ Jim Dixon, founder Wellspent and Real Good Food
What you'll have to do
Grating tomatoes might not have originated in Spain, but cooking Spanish food introduced me to this great (pun intended) technique. So with a nod to the brief period of Spanish colonial influence in Louisiana, grate a couple of Astiana tomatoes by cutting them in half across their equators, then rubbing them against a box grater over a bowl until you’re left with just the skin.
Cook the bacon in a little olive oil until lightly browned.
Add the onion, celery, bell pepper, and shrimp. Add the salt, pepper, chili, and thyme; cook until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.
Add the corn kernels and garlic and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the grated tomatoes, reduce the heat, and simmer for another 5 minutes.
Spread the stuffing about an inch and a half thick into oiled baking pans or skillets, cover with foil, and bake at 350F for 45 minutes or so. Remove the foil and bake until the top is brown and crispy, about 15 minutes more.