Maque Choux (Southern corn casserole) with Bacon


Here’s one to make a permanent part of your weekly meal plans!

Any Southerner worth his Moon Pie knows that bacon and corn go great together. I mean, bacon goes great with just about everything, sure, but pair it with fresh, sweet corn and you really have something special!

 This old school, simple side-dish is one of my all-time favorites. Corn and bacon drippings with onion and bell pepper, topped with crispy bits of bacon.

If that doesn’t get your mouth watering, something inside of you has died.

Maque Choux (pronounced “mock shoe”) is a traditional dish of southern Louisiana. It is thought to be an amalgam of Acadian French (Cajun) and American Indian cultural influence, and the name is likely to derive from the French interpretation of the Native American name. Maque choux is usually served as a side; however, it can also act as a base for a main dish by adding bite-sized portions of chicken, shrimp, or crawfish (crazy good!)

Now, you can use regular, thick-sliced bacon, as listed in the recipe below, but if you really want to take this a next level dish, slow roast and chop up some guanciale* instead.

Maque Choux with Bacon

Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Serves 8-10

3 cups fresh sweet corn kernels (6 ears fresh corn)
8 ounces bacon
1 1/2 cups chopped sweet onions (1 large)
1 cup chopped red, yellow, or purple bell pepper
1 tsp. salt
Cayenne pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 firm Roma tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 bunch cilantro, chopped (optional)

Mise en Place

Cut the sweet corn from the cobs. Chop the sweet onion, bell pepper, cilantro, and tomatoes.

Prepare the dish

Cook the bacon in a large saucepan until crisp. Remove bacon, drain, crumble and set aside.

Add the remaining ingredients (except corn) to the bacon drippings and cook for 15 minutes, stirring often, over medium heat.

Stir in the raw corn, green onions, and reserved bacon. Let rest 2-3 minutes, and serve, topped with fresh cilantro.

*Guanciale (gwan-chalie), an Italian-style bacon made from hog jowl, is a prized gourmet delicacy in central Italy. Typically, it’s dry-cured, hand-coated with fresh cracked peppercorns, then smoked over smoldering hickory logs for nearly 24 hours. The result is a meat with a noticeably richer flavor than typical bacon, and is a popular addition to such classic dishes as spaghetti alla carbonara and pasta all’amatriciana. – Check out our Guanciale Bacon Alfredo!

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