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 without the 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.
For the shopping list
large Astiana tomatoes (substitute 3-4 smaller tomatoes)
celery stalks, chopped
green bell pepper, chopped
ears fresh corn, kernels removed
*Tasso ham, andouille, or smoked sausage would all work, or the meat can be left out.
From our shop
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From the kitchen
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, and bell pepper. Add the salt, pepper, piment, and thyme flowers; 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.