Food

Maque Choux for Corn Season

Maque Choux for Corn Season

If you live in certain corners of the country, you’ve probably noticed that corn is starting to creep into markets…

And that means summer’s MVV (Most Valuable Vegetable, naturally) will be showing up on our dinner table at least a few times a week in as many ways as possible. (If you’re anything like me, don’t you feel like you wait all year long just for corn to be in season?)

I’ll tell you what’s up first: This Creole corn-and-pepper dish called Maque Choux. It’s a creamy version from Toni Tipton-Martin’s seminal Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking and I promise you’ll be making it all summer.

Maque Choux

Tipton-Martin credits this recipe to Monique Wells, a Texan expat living in Paris. Wells helped “open the eyes of elite French cooks to the flavors of the American South and Southwest” and in the process achieved something she was dedicated to: uplifting the image of soul food. Serves 4

3 to 4 ears corn, shucked
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup finely diced onion
½ cup finely diced green bell pepper
½ teaspoon minced garlic
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
⅛ teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
½ teaspoon sugar (optional)
¾ cup heavy whipping cream or half-and-half
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons minced green onions

Use a sharp knife to cut the kernels off the corn cobs, then turn the knife and use the dull side to scrape the cob down to release any remaining bits of corn and corn milk.

In a heavy skillet, heat the butter over medium-high heat until melted and sizzling. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic and sauté until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the thyme, red pepper flakes, black pepper, salt, sugar (if using), and corn. Cook, stirring, until the corn is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the cream and cook 5 minutes more to thicken. Stir in the parsley and green onions. Taste and adjust seasoning with more salt and pepper.

P.S. A tomato, corn and chickpea salad and the ultimate veggie sandwich.

(Photo by Jerrelle Guy, who also judged our brownie taste test. Recipe reprinted with permission from Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking by Toni Tipton-Martin, copyright © 2019. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc.)

  1. Sydni Jackson says...

    Also, after reading some of the other comments… WOW, people – perfection doesn’t exist!! Take it down a notch. We all love COJ and come here to find fun things. Enough with the criticism when 100% of your expectations aren’t met.

  2. Hanna says...

    That sounds so delicious, thank you! Definitely ordering this book now, thanks for the tip!

  3. Liz says...

    Guess what, not everyone comes to Cup Of Jo to get their hourly dose of social preaching. I have enjoyed Cup of Jo and its variety of topics and perspectives for years, and I’m so tired of the woke patrol. I think it’s ridiculous that there has to be a daily BLM-related post to mollify the few people that think every post has to resonate with the cause of the month and their individual feelings about it. Me enjoying some creole corn does not address systemic racism in the criminal justice system. Four weeks ago the recipe would have been a delightful post to read, now it feels like pandering. There are myriad injustices in this country and a PANDEMIC–I don’t need Cup of Jo to address them or “inform” me on a daily basis. I want to look at some Brooklyn brownstone I can’t afford and forget about the news. That is why I have read this blog–zero apologies.

    • mk says...

      PREACH.

    • Anna says...

      damned if you do damned if you don’t! Gosh. Google some brownstones in the Lonny archives why don’t you??

    • G says...

      Liz, yes.

    • Cheryl says...

      You’ve just said that it’s how you feel about the content and not the content itself that is an issue for you. (“Four weeks ago the recipe would have been a delightful post to read, now it feels like pandering.”) I’m curious who you feel is being pandered to? I’m going to suggest that how you FEEL about this post is your own responsibility, and not the responsibility of the folks who decided to include the content. If Cup of Jo being “the woke patrol” means that we’re continuing to hear from more different voices, then I’m all in.

    • Mel says...

      Haha, wow. And how sad, Liz. May you find some clarity through that knot of self-conflicting beliefs or, better yet, insight that though you are welcome to the table, the CoJ blog neither exists to cater to your whims nor is responsible for your guilt/resentment.

    • Deirdre says...

      Not to your liking? There’s the door, move on.

    • Jessica says...

      Oh so many things but addressing the PANDEMIC you some to… Cup of Jo addressed that many, many times. So… it seems your issue (rage) might be about something else. Peace to you.

  4. Amy says...

    First off, this looks delicious!

    Secondly, for the handful of comments saying that this post was a miss, or tone-deaf…come on! I worry that companies will quickly give up, or burn out, on trying to be inclusive if they’re constantly met with over-critiquing. Could CoJ add a Black food writer or editor to the staff? Sure! But, let’s not act like they flipped a switch and posted something completely trivial and that they don’t care anymore. It is an African-American dish that sounds perfect for summer – this feels genuine, and not contrived.

    Please, let’s not “cry wolf” on a blog that has demonstrated inclusivity throughout the years and is committed to trying to be even more inclusive (and that includes both topics and writers). There are plenty of tone-deaf blogs that I’m sure could use some actual critiquing/scrutiny.

  5. Fiona says...

    Yes! I make it as “Rajas” with poblanos andcilantro it tastes like home! I’m so excited to try it with this slightly different flavor profile, it looks delicious!

  6. Steph says...

    I got this cookbook for Christmas. However, I have somehow overlooked this recipe. Thanks for featuring it! I look forward to making it. Excited for corn season.

  7. JR says...

    Hi,
    I know that Jenny is a regular contributor to the blog and i love her recipes. And I appreciate posting a recipe from a black author and cookbook that celebrates African American food. However, instead of having a white contributor post african american recipes, it would be great to feature a black food blogger as well more often. I love what Cup of Jo has been posting so far, that African Americans have always contributed, and the continued support to social justice issues, but having a black food contributor speak about African American food is low hanging fruit in the way to even more positive changes. thank you!

    • S. says...

      Agreed with this. The post reads as a well-intentioned amplification, and (from reading the most recent DALS posts) I get that it’s all part of a broader awakening/adjustment for Jenny, but this fell a bit flat.

      Some gentle/constructive criticism: If you do a quick read of the voices in the post, it opens with Jenny talking about corn season like nothing else is happening, and the only time we hear Toni’s voice (presumably the quote before the recipe, though it’s not entirely clear) it’s describing her role in introducing French (European) chefs to Southern food, both of which are centering whiteness.

      There would have been a dramatic shift in tone if you had incorporated an excerpt from Jubilee’s introduction in the opener, so that Toni’s reflections on Creole food are centered, rather than Jenny’s reflections on corn season. And at the very least, I would urge you to pull quotes that center the food/culture/history/author, over ones that emphasize the author’s/food’s relationship to white folks.

    • Nat says...

      100% agree, with the initial comment and above reply!

    • mk says...

      Oh, come on. Have you not noticed that EVERY post for the past week+ has been related to BLM in some way? If you’re a regular reader, you know that’s out of the ordinary in itself. Cup of Jo regularly includes voices from all walks of life, and features a diverse crowd of women in their posts, so their bases are covered. They’re making an effort while trying to stay true to their voice. If you need exclusively BLM content, find a different blog.

      And while you’re at it, research the fact that BLM is funded (and thus controlled) by the Soros family, and any donations to BLM go straight to ActBlue and therefore fund the democratic party, which is largely a group of old white men.

    • Nat says...

      “so their bases are covered” is a really insulting way to put an effort to cover more than white upper-middle class women and families on both this blog. I cant speak for the writers themselves, but would imagine that they find it important to share these voices and perspectives, for more reasons than a shallow diversity requirement.

      I think we are all trying to figure out how to amplify the voices of BlPOC peers and creators, without white-washing them. Allyship is a skill that takes practice (and feedback), and I would say that neither of these people were tearing down Jenny, whom I assume everyone on Earth loves, nor suggesting that they only wanted BLM content.

      Finally, the Soros comment is a disproven conspiracy theory and deeply rooted in anti-semitism. I for one do not think that particular part of the comment, should have a place on this blog.

    • JR says...

      Ok M Karen

    • Nora B says...

      Nat: I appreciate that lots of voices are included on this blog. I am grateful that the COJ team are, and always have been, inclusive. I am also grateful for the right of free speech, which protects people who believe in conspiracy theories.

  8. E says...

    This looks amazing! Jenny, it’s certainly your choice, but as someone who contributes to Bon Appetit I was hoping you’d address some of their huge missteps and racist actions. Not for gossip sake, but I trust that you’re standing in solidarity with the BIPOC there.

    • Julie says...

      Jenny did address this issue on her blog in response to a comment asking for her stance on the matter. ;)

  9. katie says...

    Thank you for posting this, and for posting your Food52 Friday link to Black-authored cookbooks. Every Christmas, I ask my mom for a new cookbook and usually send her one I’m interested in. I always find that new cookbook from either this site or a couple of other blogs I read. Besides Salt Fat Acid Heat and Snoop’s cookbook, which I bought for my husband, nearly all cookbook’s featured are by white people.

    I will gladly ask for one of these cookbooks this year, and I will also make a conscientious effort to seek out POC authors going forward.

  10. jenK says...

    YUM! I make a Mexican version of this – subbing poblano peppers (green peppers & red pepper flakes) and cilantro (parsley). It is delicious!

    • katie says...

      Thank you for this idea. I love poblano peppers but don’t always know what to do with them.

    • Wendy D says...

      YUM! Great idea and a very Texan one!

  11. Emma says...

    Mmmm, gonna make this tonight with some crabcakes. :)
    Thanks for the recipe!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that sounds SO good.

  12. Carol Wayne says...

    No fresh corn here…would it be blasphemy to use canned??? Or frozen?

    • I would use frozen corn before canned. It tastes fresher. I’ve subbed frozen corn for fresh in recipes before and it worked great.

    • Kim says...

      Fresh is best, but I’ve used frozen to make this dish and it turns out fine. Indeed it’s the only option for much of the year in cold climate places, like Michigan where I live.

  13. Midwest Mama says...

    Ok, this looks crazy delicious.

  14. Isabella says...

    This post made me inordinately happy! As a Cajun living on the West Coast, I feel so separated from my culture so much of the time. It’s heartwarming to see one of our traditional dishes featured here, and especially one with Native American origins! I always add some sweet red peppers to mine, and use a splash of stock in lieu of the cream. It’s summer in a skillet!

  15. Lisa says...

    Love this cookbook. Although the recipes are great, it is definitely a cookbook to be ready cover to cover for the history and stories behind the recipes ( and the pork chops with caper sauce are the bomb!)

    • Sara B says...

      Yes! Just made them last night!

  16. Jodi says...

    Any advice on subbing the cream for a vegan option? (Does anyone who’s made this before think coconut cream is a bad idea?)

    • Lesley S says...

      I’ve made almost this exact recipe with coconut cream, and it was delicious!

    • nadine says...

      I would maybe use oat cream? it has a similar density but the flavour is not as strong as coconut..

    • Erin says...

      I often sub NutPods original (coconut/almond based) in recipes that call for heavy cream or half-and-half. That was my first thought when I read this recipe :) Good luck!

    • Jodi says...

      Thank you!!! Will try first with coconut cream :)

  17. Justine says...

    There’s nothing like fresh corn in the summer!! Thank you for sharing this cookbook too, I’m interested in learning more about African American cooking and just requested it from my library.

  18. Nicole says...

    Oh, yum! It’s not yet corn season in upstate NY (we are lucky it’s not snowing!), but I will definitely come back to this come August.

  19. minke says...

    I just made this and had it over couscous. Oh. Em. Gee. SO DELICIOUS!!!

  20. Katie says...

    I just got Jubilee from the library on Saturday. As soon as I saw the picture, I thought “I know that corn”! Planning on making this and the rum punch ASAP.

  21. Jen says...

    Yum. But I think of corn as a starch, not a veg. MVS, perhaps?

  22. Wow, looks great. Will definitely try!

  23. Sara B says...

    This whole book is so good! I’m making the pork chops with lemon caper sauce for the second time in 4 days.

  24. Leah says...

    Ordering this book now!

    • Yay, Leah! It’s so wonderful to hear that you’re supporting with buying a book (when you’re able). Authors work so hard and advances are tiny. Many of us write for the love of it, even when we are signed by global publishers. I’ve ordered so very many books in the last few weeks! I believe it’s a positive way to make a change and I’m so enjoying learning from voices that are new to me.

  25. Becs says...

    Each weekend, we’ve been teaming up with our housemates to make a big meal together, using recipes from a specific cuisine or country (Spanish, Korean, Indian…). Those few weekend hours have been such a joyful reprieve (a jubilee, if you will!) from the heaviness of each week, and a great way to introduce our kids to the beauty of other cultures. I am definitely going to look into this cookbook and am excited to explore Toni’s take on the heart of African-American food, using that as another tool in our ongoing conversations about race with our children. Thanks COJ for being spreading awareness creatively.

  26. Sarah says...

    YES – this looks incredible. Can’t wait to give it a try and now definitely need to invest in this cookbook as well!

  27. Alexa says...

    Mmmmmmmmm will be making this immediately!

  28. Margaret says...

    This is post written by a white woman, in which she copies a recipe from a book about “African-American Cooking” which was written by a Black woman. Anyone else think this is troubling? Way to throw away a perfectly good opportunity to feature a Black food writer, Cup of Jo.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Jenny is our staff food editor and features recipes by people every week. We were thrilled to feature this wonderful Black writer. Thank you!

    • This is a very slippery slope!!! There is nothing WHATSOEVER troubling about a FOOD EDITOR featuring a chef and her book. It’s called ‘getting good press’ and is what ANYONE who writes a book hopes for!

    • C. says...

      No, not troubling at all. I appreciated the cookbook rec and the recipe.

    • Madison says...

      No, I’m not troubled in the slightest. Thrilled to have gotten this great recipe and to have been introduced to this chef and her book (which I will now be ordering).

    • Anon says...

      I actually think that the tone of the comment “Jenny is our staff food editor and features recipes by people every week. We were thrilled to feature this wonderful Black writer. Thank you!” is dismissive. Margaret is sharing a point of view that is valid, and you do not even engage in the idea.

      I love Jenny, and also am a religious reader of her blog, and have really appreciated her work and have nothing but love for her. However, she in the past has almost never features a recipe by a Black person or recipes from non-middle eastern food writers. While many of the recipes she makes are non-western cultured inspired, very rarely do I see a discussion of the cultural significance or context of the food.

      I am not even saying that I agree with Margaret, only that she does have a point, that deserves more than “this is the way it is, and will continue to be. Thanks!”

    • Yasi Sabour says...

      I am no troubled by it at all. I have always found Cup of Jo to be inclusive and am thrilled to be introduced to a new chef and author and I’ll be ordering her book because of it!

  29. Melissa says...

    This recipe looks delicious + I’m thankful Jenny shared Toni Tipton-Martin’s cookbook with this community. That said, it would be great for CoJ to have Toni Tipton-Martin herself write a post about her work or to include other BIPOC food writers on food posts here.

    • Ivey says...

      Cup of Joe DOES include other contributors of color. And photographers and features and profiles!!! Take a look, how about it? And has been for a long time. If I had to bet, I’d say that Toni Tipton-Martin is thrilled that she didn’t have to write her own piece, so that she can continue to do her own work. If she had to stop and write every blog post that featured her book she would very quickly be a blogger…rather than a chef.

  30. Samantha says...

    I am salivating.

    • jacquie says...

      SAME!!

  31. Emerald says...

    I grew up eating/making this and it’s one of my favorite dishes!! I love seeing it here.

  32. Megan says...

    Oh wow. We’re still months from corn season in the PNW! We just finished rhubarb and began strawberries. This looks so good though, I’m going to file it away for August.

    • Katie says...

      Haha yes same, Megan

  33. amy says...

    this looks good!

  34. Natalie Kenley says...

    This looks so good AND I have corn I need to use:) Thank you

  35. Rhona says...

    Looks amazing. How do you serve it? As a side dish?

    • Kate says...

      I make something similar (with the addition of black beans) and serve it over rice with a side of garlic bread!

    • courtney says...

      If you a creole-style shrimp, like what’s on the cover of that book, this is the perfect side.

    • CC says...

      I have a very similar recipe that adds chunks of chicken breast to make it a complete meal, I’ve even used purchased rotisserie chicken to add to it. Side or main dish it’s wonderful!

    • Isabella says...

      It’s great with barbecued chicken!

  36. That looks delicious!!