I think I’m reading too many posts about New Orleans. “Loosiana” has been on my mind. Or maybe it’s because my long lost relatives that I found while working on my family’s genealogical tree are having a reunion. While most of them hail from Texas now, their origins are in Louisiana. Whatever, I decided to make a southern Sunday dinner.
My Louisiana grandmother was a fabulous cook, southern style. She made an excellent dish of fried okra that didn’t “rope”(slime) with tomatoes and corn, deep fried, battered tripe and superior fried chicken. Yes she fried a lot, she was from Louisiana after all. When she died, I gave up eating cornbread. The thrill was gone.
She also made some big, thick, rustic country cookies that she called teacakes with a lemony, buttery taste. Once in the 70s, I was heading off to the Monterrey Jazz festival with a bunch of very cool friends in a VW bus when we stopped by my grandfather’s house in Los Angeles, just to say hello. My grandmother was gone by this time but their tenant, also from Louisiana, who had worked in the house for years, handed me a large, grease spotted, brown paper bag of teacakes which I immediately hid in my ridiculously large llama wool purse. I was afraid that my friends would think me “country”.
On the way down to Monterrey I couldn’t help surreptitiously, I thought, taking a bite here and there of the cakes. They smelled wonderful! Of course, with the smell and crunching, I was soon found out and forced to share. My grandfather told me later that some of my friends would stop by from time to time, hoping for a baking day Anyway.
Maque Choux is a Louisiana succotash with robust, Creole spiciness.
Fried Chicken with Maque Choux
1 whole chicken cut up or 10 chicken thighs
2 cups of buttermilk
1 cup flour
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
2 tbsp creole seasoning
Salt and pepper
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 celery branches, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
4 tbsp butter
2 cans whole kernel corn
1 1/2 tbsp creole seasoning
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup cream
Whisk the milk and eggs together, then add the chicken to marinate while you prepare the maque choux.
Saute the onion, garlic, celery and bell pepper in the butter until crisp, tender. Add the creole seasoning and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cream, then pour into a baking dish. Bake a 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes.
Mix the flour, bread crumbs, creole seasoning, salt and pepper together in a bag. Take the chicken out of the marinade and coat with the flour mixture. Fry in the peanut oil until cooked a golden brown.
Wine suggestion: Have Champagne, I did.