Maque Choux (Corn Vegetable Stew)

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This is a purely Cajun dish. But, up here in the Midwest there is wonderful sweet corn. In fact, the best sweet corn I ever ate. Between my garden and my neighbor’s garden, there are enough veggies and fresh herbs around to make a fresh Maque Choux (corn vegetable stew). The corn came from a farmer nearby.  The really nice part about growing vegetables versus playing golf or fishing, you can drink a LOT of beer and wine waiting for your vegetables to grow. Just sayin.

I add a little sausage for flavor. My mother used to make it this way. Other recipes I’ve seen use andouille sausage, bacon or tasso (Cajun ham). The reason I chose Kielbasa is I will share this with my neighbor and as a plain Midwestern version. You can spice this up all you want, I’m not a big cayenne pepper fan.

I want the browned meat b/c I will use the meat “fond” for added flavor. As you know a “fond” is a French term that means “base” or remaining little bits of meat. But, there are many versions that do not include meat served as a side. I will serve this as a main dish.

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Ingredients:
10 oz. Turkey, Beef and Pork Kielbasa (Brown sausage in olive oil)
1 TBSP olive oil

6 uncooked fresh ears of corn – cut the corn using a sharp knife digging into the cob and getting the milk of the corn (There is no way you can do this without getting corn on the floor.)

Mirepoix Trinity (Used at first for the natural sugar and flavors)
½ cup quarter chopped celery stalks, I prefer the center stalk
1 cup or 1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup of green bell pepper, chopped

2 cups diced tomatoes – I used one Roma and one yellow
¾ cup scallions (green onions)
1 garlic clove minced

8 TBSP unsalted butter
Thyme – fresh
Kosher salt (pinch)

Dash of white wine
½ cup of chicken stock

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Cooking Directions:
• Lightly brown the sausage in olive oil and remove
• Add the (Mirepoix) onion, celery, bell pepper and sauté four minutes. Add the dash of white wine to release the fond while sautéing and scraping the bottom of the pot
• Add the butter and melt
• On low heat add the corn and mix until the corn is buttered.
• Add thyme, return the meat, pinch of salt, ½ cup chicken stock and cook covered on medium heat 15 minutes
• Watch the pot, don’t let it over cook
• Add the remaining ingredients and cook another 15 minutes on medium to low heat. Add more chicken stock if necessary (There should only be just enough fluids to steam the corn and release the corn milk)

100_6878As of 6/6/21

Indonesian-Style Chicken-Mushroom Noodles (Bakmi Ayam Jamur)

2 tablespoons oil
½ cup sliced scallions
1 cloves garlic, minced
1 garlic clove size galangal or ginger
2 chicken thighs, boned, trimmed of skin and fat, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 pepper
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced (I used fresh oyster mushrooms)
1 tablespoons soy sauce
8 ounces dried Chinese egg noodles or Italian egg linguine (or any noodle you prefer)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Small dash Fish sauce
4 leaves baby bok choy or Napa Cabbage, halved cut thin
2 cups water

  1. In a separate pot, lightly boil the chicken in 2 cups of water with the galangal and garlic until chicken is half-cooked.  Remove chicken.  Strain the chicken broth and set aside.  De-bone the chicken and chop chicken into pieces.
  2. Heat the oil in large Dutch oven. Add the onion, garlic, green onions, galangal/ginger from the chicken pot and cook on medium until the onions are translucent.
  3. Add the chicken to the pot.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Add the mushrooms and soy sauce. Keep stirring and tossing to coat the chicken and mushrooms evenly. Simmer over low heat for another 10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the ingredients have absorbed the sauce.
  5. For the noodles:  Bring a pot of water to boil and cook the noodles according to package directions. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water to remove starches.
  6. Cut the cabbage or greens and add to the pot. 
  7. To the pot add sesame oil, a few dashes of fish sauce.  Stir and cook a few more minutes until the soup is somewhat hot.
  8. To serve, plate the noodles into a bowl. Top with the chicken, mushroom and other ingredients.
  9. Pour 1/2 cup of chicken stock each into each bowl. 
  10. Serve noodles with bowls of soup.  Top with Sriracha if you need heat.

As of 6/3/21

Malaysian Curry Seafood Laksa

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBSP oil
  • 14 oz. frozen shrimp thawed
  • 4 oz. white fish cut into 1” squares (Cod or north Atlantic Pollock)
  • 1 chicken thigh cut into pieces
  • 1 TBSP cloves garlic minced
  • 1 TBSP grated ginger or galanga. (I used galanga)
  • ½ medium red onion chopped
  • ½ red bell pepper chopped
  • 2 TBSP Red Curry Paste (Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste can be found in most independent stores)
  • 2 TBSP Curry Powder
  • 1 can of unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 cup Chicken stock
  • Dash of fish sauce or to taste
  • 1 handful of cilantro leaves plucked from the stem
  • Kosher Salt
  • Cooked Chinese egg noodle and vermicelli rice noodles.
  • Bean sprouts
  • 1 lime cut into wedges

Heat oil in a dutch oven, (I use a cast iron oven).  On medium heat fry the curry paste in oil for a minute or so until the aroma begins to come forward.  Add the curry powder and stir in.  Add the chicken and fry a minute or more longer.  Add the coconut milk, galanga/ginger, red bell, garlic, onion, salt and the chicken stock.  Slow roll the pot on low to medium heat and cook for 20 minutes or more.

Twenty minutes before serving add the shrimp and fish.  This prevents the over cooking of the seafood.

Noodles:
Boil the egg noodles in a separate pot exactly 12 minutes and drain.  Cook the rice noodles exactly 12 minutes and remove the noodles but keep the hot water. 

Back to the Laska pot now add the fish sauce and stir (dash of fish sauce, it can be a little frisky).  Cook several minutes more. 

Plate the noodles, heat the bean spouts in the hot left over noodle water and plate on the side of the noodles.  Ladle in the meat and veggies and ladle in the Laksa soup sauce.  Top with a lime wedge and cilantro leaves.

Serve

As of 5/29/21

Pork Ramen Noodle Soup

Serves 2

4 cups of chicken broth
1 chicken bouillon cube
3 scallions chopped
1” fresh ginger grated
1” garlic cloves pressed
2 1” pieces of daikon
2 Napa Cabbage leaves (or bok choy leaves)
2 eggs hard boiled and peeled
½ Lb. port tenderloin cut into thin slices
4 shrimp peeled and de-veined
1 small lime cut into quarters
4 shiitake mushrooms (if dried re-hydrate)
1 carrot cut into match sticks
1 TBSP sake
1 TBSP Aji-Mirin (Sweet cooking rice seasoning liquid by Kikkoman)
1 TBSP soy sauce
1 TBSP vegetable oil

In a Dutch oven fry the pork in the oil until almost done on low heat and remove.  Should still be pink in the center.

Add the chicken broth, bouillon cube, lime and the daikon and on medium heat simmer the chicken broth.  Cook 30 minutes.

Peel the carrot and cut into match sticks.  Place in a bowl and add salt.  This will wilt the carrots.  When they are flexible rinse off the salt and set aside.

Remove the lime from the broth and discard.

Place the eggs in a pan and add about ½” water.  Bring to a boil on medium high heat and then cover and cook for 11 minutes.  Drain the hot water and run cold water over the eggs to cool the eggs.  Crack the eggs and place in the cold water.  After a while the eggs should be easy to peel as the water soaks under the shell.  Cut in half and set aside.

Return the pork, add the ginger and the garlic and the scallions.  Cook another 10 minutes.  Add the sake, mirin, soy sauce, mushrooms, cabbage leaves and shrimp.  Cook another 15 minutes.

Boil water in a separate pot for the noodles and cook 4 minutes.

Drain noodles, plate in a bowl with the noodles first, add all the ingredients on top of the noodles then with a ladle the broth over and serve.  We use chop sticks and a soup spoon.

As of 5/25/21

Carne Asada (Fajitas)

Ingredients:

    1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
    1/3 cup olive oil
    1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
    1/4 cup white wine
    Juice of 1 orange
    Juice of 1 lime
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    1 1/2 pounds flank steak

These can be made into fajitas by adding guacamole and salsa on a flour tortilla. 

Directions:

    In a medium bowl, combine cilantro, olive oil, soy sauce, orange juice, lime juice, garlic, jalapeno, cumin and 1 teaspoon pepper; set aside 1/2 cup of the mixture in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

    In a gallon size Ziploc bag or large bowl, combine steak and remaining cilantro mixture; marinate for at least 4 hours to overnight, turning the bag occasionally. Drain the steak from the marinade.

    Preheat grill to medium high heat. Using paper towels, pat both sides of the steak dry; season with salt and pepper, to taste.

    Add steak to grill and cook 2 minutes on the first side, flip and cook 2 minutes, then turn until desired doneness, about 6 minutes per side for medium rare. Let rest 5 minutes.

    Thinly slice steak against the grain and serve with reserved 1/2 cup cilantro mixture.

As of 6/6/21