maque choux magick

I'm gradually getting better and better at kitchen foraging.  There's nothing worse than having to throw out leftover ingredients which got tossed into the crisper and forgotten about.  And my pantry seems to get more and more crowded by the week.  I decided it was time to dig around and make a concerted effort to only use ingredients I already had lying around...

We had a ton of fresh, shucked corn left over the day after the crawfish boil.  So that was a start... 

I think I also still had Louisiana on the brain, so I decided to make a simple maque choux, which is basically a spicy Cajun succotash based on a Native American dish.


I started with this recipe from Bon Appetit once I realized I had every single ingredient already in my garden, fridge or pantry!  I doctored it up a bit using the Kitchen Witch seasoning I'd gotten in the French Quarter.  (I can't tell you what's exactly in it, nor the proportions, because it's not labelled.. but my tongue and nose say paprika, garlic powder, cayenne, thyme..and definitely a whole lot of magick)

And, honestly, I did not measure whatsoever, but I basically stuck to these proportions (ish), except probably doubled the amount of fresh herbs.  And used garlic, of course (not sure why the original recipe leaves out garlic-!).  Measuring and recording what I do while cooking has been quite a strenuous task lately.  (I know-- bad blogger!)

Maque Choux

2 tsp (1/4 stick) of unsalted butter
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 cups fresh corn kernels
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1/2 tsp hot sauce
2 garlic cloves, crushed and roughly chopped
1 green onion, chopped
2 tsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp chopped fresh basil
Kitchen Witch seasoning, fresh ground black pepper, and course sea salt to taste


Melt butter in skillet.  Add onion and saute until translucent.  Add bell pepper and garlic; saute for 3 minutes.  Add corn and saute for another several minutes Add cream, thyme, and hot sauce, simmering until sauce thickens (about 5 minutes).  Mix in green onion, parsley, and basil.  Add seasonings to taste and enjoy!

yogurt custard on the left, onions and stock on the right

A couple other things I have an excess of: cookbooks and Swiss chard.  The chard in my garden is unstoppable!  I want to make use of it before the brutal Texas sun threatens wiltage.  I also have a ton of beautiful cookbooks which don't see the light of day often enough (it's hard, with stacks of food mags piling up and the expanse that is the Internet...existing!)  One I've been meaning to use more is Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Every Day.  I flipped through and decided to make an adaptation of her chickpea stew, except mine was a little less stewy and more chardy...again, I was able to make this using ingredients straight from the garden/spice rack/pantry/fridge!

Chickpeas, Chard, Yogurt, Saffron

2 TB extra virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
sea salt
3 cups cooked chickpeas
2 handfuls of fresh Swiss chard, roughly torn and stalks composted
2 cups veggie stock
4 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp saffron
3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 cup yogurt (I used Fage Greek-style because it's awesome)
paprika (I had regular, not sweet)


1. Combine olive oil, onion, and several pinches of salt in a medium pot.  Cook until onions soften, then stir in the chickpeas, then the Swiss chard.  Add veg stock and garlic, then bring to a simmer and remove from heat.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the saffron, egg yolks, and yogurt.  Slowly add a big ladel-ful or two of hot broth to the yogurt custard, stirring constantly.  Whisk this new mixture back into the pot of soup and return the pot to medium. 

3. Cook, stirring continuosly, for another 5 minutes or so, until the brother thickens, but never quite allowing it to simmer.

4.  Ladle into bowls and serve sprinkled with paprika