Secret Ingredients from Summer Corn Lift Cajun Mac Choux

One of the classic dishes of Louisiana’s Cajun country, the star of the mac choux is fresh summer corn. The naturally sweet grains are in delicious balance with the savory mix of vegetables and crawfish.

But it can lean on the heavy side, thanks largely to the addition of cream.

To lighten up the recipe in our book “Milk Street Tuesday Nights,” which limits recipes to 45 minutes or less, we use an ingredient that most cooks throw out — corn. Stick. Instead of weighing down the dish with dairy, which dulls the other flavors, we remove the corn “milk.”

After cutting out the kernels, we use the back of a knife to scrape off the canes, releasing their starchy liquid to add a rich, creamy body that doesn’t overpower the other ingredients.

Pronounced “funny shoe,” a French inflection of a Native American word, this Creole classic is usually made with crawfish and/or tasso ham. Both are hard to come by, so we chose andouille sausage for its smoky, sweet flavor.

We also swapped out the standard green bell pepper for poblano peppers, which have an earthy flavor and mild heat.

Adding a tablespoon of cider vinegar to the finished hash makes it even brighter.

Maque Choux with Andouille Sausage


  • Corn, husk and 3 silk hairs removed.
  • 1 tablespoon grape seed or other neutral oil
  • 6 ounces andouille sausage, halved lengthwise and cut into ½-inch pieces.
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped.
  • 1 poblano pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced.
  • Half a teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 4 scallions, finely chopped


  • Using a chef’s knife, cut the kernels off the ears of corn.
  • Sit on one side.
  • One at a time, place each drained cob in a wide bowl, then use the back of a knife to scrape it from top to bottom, allowing the liquid to drain into the bowl. Add the seeds to the bowl and set aside.
  • In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat oil until shimmering.
  • Add sausage and cook, stirring, until well browned, about 3 minutes.
  • Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and drain the fat from the skillet.
  • Set the skillet to medium and melt the butter. Add onion, black pepper, poblano pepper and ½ teaspoon salt.
  • Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, scraping up any browned bits and stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender.
  • Stir in the garlic and thyme, then cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Increase to medium and add corn kernels and liquid, ¾ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  • Cook, stirring, until corn is crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Return sausage to skillet, stir and cook until heated through, about 1 minute.
  • Stir in the vinegar, then taste and season with salt and pepper.
  • Stir in the scallions.

You will love this recipe.

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