Thursday, May 17, 2007

Working with corn in two ways...

I know it isn't quite into the season yet, but I couldn't pass up the fresh white corn at the market this afternoon. It may not be at its peak just yet, but it has seemed like forever since we have seen fresh corn that even looked remotely decent.

Since we were not going to enjoy the corn by itself on the cob, I actually bought the ears to use for tonight's side dish of Maque Choux (pronounced "mock shoe"). This spicy dish is a combination of corn, onion and poblano peppers that are cooked in a pat of butter. Be sure to use a large skillet if you try this recipe; you want to give the corn kernels a chance to caramelize and begin to brown. Once the corn has gotten some color, fire-roasted diced tomatoes, a homemade Cajun Spice Mix and a little chicken broth are added and the mixture simmers until the flavors concentrate and most of the liquid has evaporated. The dish has a smoky, rustic and roasted flavor with a nice kick to it - you will have a bit of the Cajun Spice Mix leftover as it makes a lot, but you could use the leftovers for a Dirty Rice recipe that we made awhile ago or you could just halve the ingredients and use some of it as a blackening spice for fish.

Tonight's dinner is an interesting twist on sloppy joes with a recipe for Spiced Beef Corn Bread Cobbler. The original recipe calls for all ground beef, but I wanted to lighten it up a touch so we cut it with some ground turkey breast. What attracted me most to this recipe was the unusual combination of sweet and savory spices used to season the meat mixture. A dash of sugar, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne, allspice, black pepper and salt create a complex flavor that kept Jeff trying to guess what spices he was tasting. Besides adding moisture, fire-roasted diced tomatoes bring a rich depth of flavor to the beef and turkey mixture. Once thoroughly heated through, the cooked base is placed in a pie dish and topped with dollops of a cheesy corn bread based batter.

The dish is then baked just long enough to cook the corn bread. The dollops of batter bake up into beautiful mounds of savory moist corn bread and made for easy portioning of the dish. It was somewhat reminiscent of chili, so I may think about adding a can of beans into the mixture next time just to bulk up the dish a bit more.


  1. Corn bread cobbler! What a "cute" name. I love it...and I love cornbread!

  2. That sounds really comforting and yummy. The corn looks so pretty after it's been cooked too.

  3. Claire - And so easy to portion out... I love dishes like this!

    Kelly-jane - Yes! I will have to try this again when the chilly weather starts in the fall.

  4. Hi Joe! this recipe looked sooo good to me! I made this except used veggie soy ground meat instead of beef/turkey. I absolutely loved it! thank you!!!

  5. Amanda - Great to hear it worked well with the soy meat! We sometimes like to use that as well.