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!)

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Peace and I am never bored,

Isabelle

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Grilled Nectarine Salsa

Grilled Nectarine Salsa

Grilled Nectarine Salsa

I had a huge dilemma over this salsa. I mean HUGE, earth shattering dilemma, I tell ya!  Yes I am being dramatic…I mean in the grand scheme of life is Grilled Nectarine Salsa really an issue?  Nope.  It sure isn’t.  I just couldn’t make up my mind on what I wanted to put it on: burgers or frozen yogurt.  Here’s the little catch…if I put it on my burger I think I would like some red onions in it…not so much for the frozen yogurt…

I decided, I was willing to sacrifice the red onion in order to have a sweet treat for these hot wonderful blistering awesome summer days.  Yes I am still in love with the heat!  Bring it on!  I even ran 5 miles this morning at around 9 and I was as happy as could be!  Sweating and melting but HAPPY!  🙂

ummmmm so yeah...not a bad decision if you ask me!

ummmmm so yeah…not a bad decision if you ask me!

So the salsa.  Let’s get to that.

Ingredients:

3 ripe Nectarines cut in half and pitted (I had 1 white flesh nectarine and 2 regular nectarines)

2 tablespoons melted butter

1/2 cup fresh basil roughly chopped (plus more for serving if you fancy)

Zest of 1 lime

Juice of 1/2 lime

Pinch of salt

1 tablespoon agave syrup

3 tablespoons white rum (optional…if that’s how you fly!)

How to:

Start your grill (evidently…it’s a grilled salsa!) brush your nectarines with your melted butter.  Place on your grill skin side up.  Grill for about 2-3 minutes.  Flip your nectarines and cook for another 2 minutes (not too long, skin tends to burn).  Remove and let cool.

it's all coming together

it’s all coming together

looks at those little jewels glissening!

looks at those little jewels glistening!

nice grill marks....pad on the back Iz.

nice grill marks….pat on the back Iz.

coolin' chillin' relaxin'

coolin’ chillin’ relaxin’

Maybe make a drink and chit-chat while nectarines cool.

Chop your cooled nectarines into cubes (or what ever resembles a cube in your book!)  Add your basil, lime juice, lime zest, salt, agave syrup and rum.  Toss everything together.  Taste.  Adjust seasoning….you might need a touch more salt.  Put in your fridge to chill or serve immediately over frozen yogurt or ice cream…I say go with vanilla so you can really taste the salsa, but it’s your dessert, sky’s the limit!  I opted for frozen yogurt….oh and I did put it on my burger!  DELISH!  YUMMILICIOUS!

so that was somewhere between mind blowing good and knock your socks off crazy good!

so that was somewhere between mind blowing good and knock your socks off crazy good! Perfect sweet & salty combo!

Note: if you decide you are not going for the rum, maybe you should go for tequila? or vodka? or maybe triple sec?  OK OK….maybe add a little more agave syrup and lime juice…whatever!  😉

sweet baby that is one delicious salsa!

sweet baby that is one delicious salsa!

On yet another note: I guess you could also use peaches, go for it….let me know if you do!

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Peace and Salsa is NOT a dilemma,

Isabelle

P.S. if you wish to make your own frozen yogurt please go check out my Brown Butter Frozen Yogurt , it’s super easy and super yummy!  You may want to skip the step with the roasted cherries….or not!

Find my recipe linked here as well:

Spicy Green Grilling Marinade

Spicy Green Grilling Marinade: Pork Chops

I love summer more than the average bear.  I have known this for a long time.  Which is why you should know that I love my husband more than summer (don’t gasp…I mean I really really really love summer!) to prove my point: we left gorgeous, HOT and perfect Florida and moved to Indiana (also pretty perfect if you ask me!) so that my husband could join the cool Indianapolis Fire Dept. Brotherhood.  There!  That’s proof enough if you ask me.  No worries I also do other special lovely things for my husband so he knows how much I love him….get your minds out of the gutter….ever so slightly 😉

Today in order to once more prove my love to my sweet man I decided to make this delicious spicy marinade for our pork chops. He loves the spicy stuff! (I said…minds out of the gutter!)  This is a nice way to provide an alternative flavor to traditional pork marinades.

Feel free to try this on any meat you like.  It is pretty darn versatile if you ask me!

Ingredients:

Zest 1 lime

Juice 1 lime

3 Jalapenos (or 2 jalapenos + 1 serrano) roughly chopped

4 green onions, roughly chopped

1 tablespoon agave syrup (preferably organic)

2 garlic cloves crushed

2 tablespoons orange juice

½ cup cilantro roughly chopped

1/3 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

4-5 pork chops (I like the thick center cut for this dish) or 4-5 boneless skinless chicken breasts or pork tenderloins or whatever your heart desires!

How to:

In your blender put all your ingredients (except the meat….OBVIOUSLY!) blend well.

gorgeous isn’t it?

Using a large bowl or glass pan (what ever will fit in your fridge) put your meat in and cover with the marinade.  Please use the best tools you have : your HANDS and massage it all together.  Put in your fridge for a minimum of 1 hour (2-3 works well).

When ready, grill your meat on a medium-low heat until ready.

juicy pork chop with lovely spicy flavors

Serve with what ever your peeps enjoy in the summer heat.  Our place: corn on the cob (we do live in Indiana!) and whole wheat couscous!

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Peace and Love,

Isabelle

Recipe Linked Here as Well:

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!

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Peace and kitchen manicures,

Isabelle

Come check out my recipe also linked on: