Maque Choux with Fried Green Tomatoes
Herbsaint Restaurant and Bar, Cochon, Cochon Butcher, Calcasieu, Pêche Seafood Grill, and La Boulangerie, New Orleans
"For years my wife was a vegetarian. As a guy who has sausage in his DNA, it was only reluctantly that I started preparing more vegetable dishes. Maque choux, the classic southern Louisiana sauté of corn, peppers, and tomatoes, was one of Amanda’s favorites." –Donald Link
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 small onion, minced
- 1 poblano chile, seeded and minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 2 large ripe tomatoes, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 1/2 cups water
- Kernels from 6 ears of corn (3-4 cups)
- 7 basil leaves, torn
- 1 or 2 hard green tomatoes
- Salt and pepper
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 cups bread crumbs
- Vegetable oil, for frying
To make maque choux, melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter begins to sizzle, add the onion, poblano, jalapeño, salt, pepper, and paprika. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring, until the vegetables are softened. Add the tomatoes, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and water, and simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, until the tomatoes start to break down. Add the corn kernels and simmer, until the corn is tender, 10 to 15 minutes; stir in basil.
To make fried green tomatoes, slice the tomatoes into 1/4 to 1/2-inch slices and season with salt and pepper. Place the flour, buttermilk, and bread crumbs in individual shallow bowl or pie tins. One at a time, dip the tomato slices first in the flour, then in the buttermilk, and then in the bread crumbs.
Heat 1/2 inch of vegetable oil to 350ºF in a medium cast-iron skillet. Fry the tomatoes until golden on both sides.
Spoon some maque choux onto each plate. Top with a fried tomato.