Grilled Maque Choux and Shrimp

Grilled Maque Choux and Shrimp

Grilled Maque Choux and Shrimp

Maque choux /’ma:kju:/ is a traditional dish of southern Louisinana.  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.

Thank you Wikipedia

This dish is often a side dish but I’ve had it as a main course and it was a perfectly satisfying dish!  It is not something that you see often here in Indiana…although with the abundance of corn surrounding us it should be part of everyone’s menu!  Got to use that corn in many ways otherwise the peeps might get bored!  😉

I decided to add some more flavors to my version by grilling the ingredients and adding some grilled shrimp to round up this mouth-watering dish!  It was spectacular!  I love this dish, to the moon and back!

this is simply ammmuuuuuuziiiiing!

this is simply ammmmaaaaaaziiiiing!

Ingredients:

5 ears corn

1 green bell pepper (I didn’t have a big bell pepper from my garden so I did one small and one poblano)

1 jalapeno (optional…but oh so delicious!)

2 cups cherry tomatoes (I had a variety of cherry tomatoes)

1 onion, cut into thick slices

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon butter

1 lb. shrimp, peeled and cleaned

Zest and Juice 1 lemon

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, roughly chopped

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, roughly chopped

Salt and Pepper to taste

Grilled slices of Tuscan bread (for serving, optional)

How to:

First you must cook your corn: 10 minutes or so in boiling water.  Set aside while you get everything ready.

In a large bowl combine your shrimp, zest and juice of lemon, thyme and parsley, salt and pepper (approx. 1 teaspoon each).  Cover and put in your fridge until ready to use.

good little shrimp marinating....good job!

good little shrimp marinating….good job!

Skewer your cherry tomatoes onto metal or soaked wooden skewers.  Put on a large baking sheet.  Lay out your pepper, jalapeno, cooked corn, and sliced onion, drizzle everything with a little bit of olive oil, add a touch of salt and pepper.  Time to start the grill.  Once nice and hot add your vegetables and DO NOT LEAVE THEM ALONE.  Make sure everything gets beautiful grill marks.  Have a clean baking sheet ready and depending on time and heat, remove the vegetables once ready.  You need to pay attention because most likely the tomatoes will be ready first and start bursting.  Turn each veggie around so they get color all over.  When all done, set aside to cool for a few minutes (too hot to handle!).

grill shot...always a shot in the dark...hahaha I kill myself!  ;)

grill shot…always a shot in the dark…hahaha I kill myself! 😉

yum! yum! all grilled up!

yum! yum! all grilled up!

Meanwhile back at the shrimp!  Skewer your shrimp for the grill.  Set aside.

When your veggies are touch cooler, time to chop everything.  Chop your onion, bell pepper, jalapeno, tomatoes (KEEP ALL THE JUICES), cut corn off the cobs.  Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil into a large pan.  Add all your vegetables (and juices) and toss everything together.  Let this cook on medium-low for about 10 minutes.  Add 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1 tablespoon butter.  Mix everything well and cook for another 5 minutes, on low.  Keep warm until ready to serve.

almost there....still missing the creaminess factor!

almost there….still missing the creaminess factor!

now...that's what I am talking about! YUMMO!

now…that’s what I am talking about! YUMMO!

Heat up your grill again.  Time to grill your shrimp.  Stay put…these should only take about 5 minutes.  Do not overcook your shrimp or you may as well eat rubber!  😉

shrimp shot!  ;)

shrimp shot!

Put your Maque Choux into your serving bowl, top with shrimp and a nice thick piece of grilled bread.  Dig in!

first bite...it's love...oh wait I forgot something!

first bite…it’s love…oh wait I forgot something!

now I am ready to dig in!

now I am ready to dig in!

Note: this serves 4 as a main course, or 6ish as a side dish or one hungry Isabelle…you pick!  So delicious, so fresh and so unexpected in the middle of summer, a welcome change to corn on the cob!

so simply pretty delicously good (I don't even make sense anymore!)

simply pretty delicously good (I don’t even make sense anymore!)

Printer Friendly: Grilled Maque Choux and Shrimp

Peace and I am never bored,

Isabelle

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Lemon Grass Chicken

This is an actual conversation I had with my mother the last time she visited us. (yes, I am boring you with another conversation re-cap! sorry)

Me: “so, mom you said you had lunch with Grandma?”

Mom: “yes, but you know she is so forgetful now, it is really difficult to have a conversation with her.”

Me: “oh, really?  That’s not good”

Mom: “no, it’s not.  But I want you to make me a promise that if ever and I mean EVER start telling you the same story over and over again you have to stop me and tell me.  Also I am to NEVER wear those ugly old people track suit.  Promise me Isabelle, you have to promise.”

Me: “Mom, no worries, I will always tell you the truth and I won’t let anyone dress you that way…and I’ll even throw in the never let you have blue or purple hair!”

Mom: “great, now I have to tell you about how your dad freaked out at the gas station while we were in Nevada with your aunt and uncle.”

Me: “Mom, you’ve already told me this story, twice.”

Mom: “well, EXCUSE ME for repeating myself, I didn’t realize you were keeping track of my stories!”

Me: !

I love my Mom….I really do….Here’s an easy chicken recipe for everyone to enjoy, one that doesn’t require much “thinking”…because if you are like me then your life is already full of “stuff” and plenty of thinking! 😉

Lemon Grass Chicken Salad, easy, healthy and delicious

Ingredients:

2 pounds chicken breast cut into “tenderloin” size pieces

3-4 stalks lemon grass

4 garlic cloves crushed

1/2 cup olive oil

4 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 green onion chopped

1 teaspoon each salt and pepper

How to:

In a small blender (or any size really will work) put your lemon grass, garlic, olive oil, soy sauce, brown sugar, green onion, salt and pepper.  Pulse until you get a smooth emulsion.  Pour in a resealable plastic bag.  Add your chickens strips and “massage” to make sure chicken is well coated.  Put in your refrigerator for 3-4 hours (up to 24 hours is no problem….the longer the better)

Ready to be pulverized

chicken strips....exciting isn't it?

Cook on a preheated outdoor grill or a grill pan (which is what I decided to use today).  Until no longer pink, about 10 minutes.

Beautiful Grill Marks= yumminess

I decided to make a salad with our Lemon Grass Chicken but it is so easy to make different meals with this delightfully tasty chicken: Asian chicken wraps, over rice noodles, over rice, in lettuce cups…etc…all amazingly delicious and healthy.

For the salad, I added some sliced green onions and chopped peanuts

Printer Friendly: Lemon Grass Chicken

Peace and No Jump Suit 😉

Isabelle

Wine “Can” Chicken

I know, I am forever trying to change things up.  Just give me a chance to explain.  I love chicken, I love wine…me no likey beer…so I improvised!  This is more a technique than a recipe.  But let me tell you once you get the hang of making this chicken you will become a Picasso of Flavor!  You can change it up as you go and use what you have on hand.  What I like is that it is as easy to make a big roaster chicken as it is a small.  All you need is a little more time.  You just get amazing leftovers.  Perfect for salad or a frittata the next day!

Ingredients:

1 whole chicken (4-6 pounds)

1 empty beer can or soda can (rinsed well)

1 cup white wine

1 twig fresh rosemary

2 garlic cloves crushed and finely diced

3-4 tablespoons olive oil (depending on size of chicken)

1 teaspoon chili powder (mine was chipolte chili powder)

1 teaspoon fresh basil roughly chopped

1 teaspoon fresh oregano (I only had dried so I used a little less)

How to:

Preheat your grill.  You will have to cook your chicken with the “indirect” heat method, which means that you will want your chicken to sit on an OFF burner while the other burners are still on medium/high.  But first you must heat your grill with ALL burners on to get the grill extremely hot and ready to rock your little chicken’s socks 😉

Next fill your empty can of soda or beer with 1 cup of wine, rosemary (you may have to break it in half to fit) and 1 of your garlic cloves.  Set aside.

In a small bowl mix your olive oil, chopped garlic, chili powder, basil and oregano.  Using your lovely hands massage your mixture all over your chicken, inside the cavity and if possible under the skin.  Don’t worry it will get messy and ugly but consider the fabulous moisturizing you are giving your sweet hands….you could be paying big bucks for this!

This is an action shot...really awesome isn't it? :)

This is an action shot…really awesome isn’t it? 🙂

Next sit your chicken on the can making sure it will sit properly and not fall over.  You may have to get bossy with the chicken but I have faith in you, be firm and let the chicken know you mean business.

I was bossy and see my chicken standing to attention!

I was bossy and see my chicken standing to attention!

Time to go to the grill, turn off the middle burners (I have 6 burners so I turned off the 2 middle ones) and sit your chicken on the grill.  Close the lid and cook for about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.  Juices should run clear.  Let your chicken stand for 10-15 minutes prior to carving so you don’t lose all the fantastic juices.

Look at the lovely color and the smell is divine

Look at the lovely color and the smell is divine

Serve….oh my chicken in heaven this is good.

YUMMY!

YUMMY!

Printer Friendly: Wine Can Chicken

Peace and kitchen manicures,

Isabelle

Come check out my recipe also linked on:

Stuffed Grilled Pork Chops and an uneasy morning!

This might be one of those TMI post….I apologize in advance.  BUT this is typical me and if you have been reading then you will just get a good laugh and know this is just another day in the life of Isabelle….

I am getting back into the swing of things after a few days fishing and doing pretty much nothing but soaking up too much sun.  Today has been a long day, oddly enough I am enjoying every minute of my chores at home.  Even though it all started pretty early.  I decided that since I wanted to get a lot done today, I should go to the bootcamp workout at 6am, which meant I had to get up at 5:30…so I did.  I was miserable for the first 2 minutes until my friend Jill made me laugh with her Elmo juice story….guess what she puts in her Elmo juice? vodka…yep, that’s my kind of girl!  Maybe Jill should write a guest post on how to make great martinis with juice boxes!

OK OK enough about drinks….So here’s where my day took an interesting turn.  After too much laundry folding, laundry hanging, chicken checking, watering this and that….and let’s not forget the workout PLUS another 1 hour of elliptical workout at home, I thought maybe I should have breakfast.  I got all excited about this great bread I have, plus the delicious pate I get to spread on it (don’t knock it till you try it) AND an extremely hot cup of coffee….I take ONE bite.  My youngest daughter Bear looks at me and says: “uh, mom? Cooper smells like poop, I think he rolled in it, you need to wash him.”  She then turns around, sits down and start eating her lovely breakfast.  I freeze, darn it, I don’t want to wash a dog, I want to eat…eat ….eat…

To make the situation more pleasant (imagine my sarcastic tone!) the dog is not cooperating.  AT ALL!   He is trying to run away from me.  I am spraying myself with the hose, soap gets in my mouth (I was hungry…), the dog is trying to get back in the house soaked and sudsy…this is ridiculous.  Glad my kid is enjoying her breakfast!  My appetite’s pretty much…gone!

How can I be mad at such a cute face?

Pay back: I am making Mr. Man and I a delicious dinner and since the girls have friends over (again!) they are having pizza and breadsticks!

For us: Stuffed grilled pork chops, fresh pasta with homemade pesto. YUMMY 🙂

Ingredients:

4 pork chops (5 if small)

1 medium tomato diced small

1/2 cup fresh basil roughly chopped

1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

1 slice country bread (stale is better) cut into very small pieces.

1 garlic clove finely diced

olive oil

salt and pepper

How to:

First you must make a pocket in each pork chop.  I like to use a small paring knife and carefully make the incision (I am NOT a doctor!).  I try to keep the opening as small as possible but still have a nice pocket on the inside.  This takes some practice and it’s not a problem if you mess up because we can tie the chop with cooking twine and all the good stuff will stay inside!

Make sure you 'run" your knife on the inside to make a large pocket

Next, you need to make your stuffing.  This is the flavor factory part.  Once you know the flavor you are looking for, go ahead and try new combinations.  In a medium bowl mix your tomato, basil, parmesan cheese, bread, garlic, 2 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper.  Stir to combine and set aside.  Time to start your grill.

Stuffing, similar to a panzanella salad

While your grill is heating up, start filling your pork chops with your stuffing.  Your pocket should be full but not overflowing.  Secure your chops with toothpicks or cooking twine.  I like to do a criss cross pattern with my toothpicks.

Filled to the brim and ready to go!

Place your chops on the grill and cook until no longer pink, about 10 minutes per side.  Make sure you heat on medium-low so you don’t burn your pork.

Slow and steady...no raging inferno here 🙂

Time to serve, as I said, we ate ours with pesto pasta…to keep the italian flair going!

So delicious and moist....don't forget about your toothpicks!

Here’s a look inside:

Ins't that pretty? The flavor was so fresh, we could taste it in every bite.

Printer Friendly:  Stuffed Grilled Pork Chops

Peace and easy does it,

Isabelle

Note: for my Aunt Suzanne: TMI means Too Much Information (when you share too much personal information!)  🙂

Recipe also linked on: Simply Gourmet Photography &