Maque Choux and Skillet Pork Chops
Maque Choux and Skillet Pork Chops

Your favorite pair of jeans has a culinary equivalent: a dish you can dress up or down, that's comfortable in a breakfast, lunch or dinner menu, and that always makes you look good as a cook.

It's called maque choux (pronounced "mock shoe"), and unless you're from Louisiana chances are you haven't heard of it.

Think of the best of the harvest -- sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers and onions -- coming together with butter and seasonings, and you've got maque choux.

But aside from its garden-fresh flavor, maque choux is appealing for its versatility.

Fill a brunch omelet with maque choux or serve it plain as a side to breakfast sausages. You can also add crumbled bacon to maque choux.

For lunch simmer maque choux with hot milk or a combination of milk and half-and-half and elevate the vegetable dish to delicious chowder.

If you're trying to stretch last night's rotisserie chicken into a second dinner, add the leftover bits of chicken to maque choux and you have a bountiful meal.

The only drawback is that it's hard to make a little maque choux for two, if you want to maintain the variety of vegetables that makes the recipe unique. Fortunately leftovers will keep in a covered container in the refrigerator up to three days.

Serve maque choux plain or with skillet pork chops for a robust fall dish.

Maque Choux

Makes 2 servings

1 1/2 tablespoons butter, divided

1 small red onion, chopped

1 celery rib, trimmed and chopped

1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1 cup cooked corn kernels (see note)

1 large tomato, cored and chopped

1/4 teaspoon dried, crushed thyme

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in large skillet. Add onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic and corn. Cook over low-medium heat for 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Add tomato, thyme, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes or until tomato is pulpy, stirring frequently. Add remaining 1/2 tablespoon butter and melt in. Remove from heat.

Each serving has: 200 calories; 10 grams total fat; 5 grams protein; 29 grams carbohydrates; 31 milligrams cholesterol; 310 milligrams sodium and 5 grams dietary fiber.

Note: Cook 2 ears of corn and scrape off the kernels to yield 1 cup.

Skillet Pork Chops Recipe

Makes 2 servings

1 tablespoon flour

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

2 (6-ounce) boneless top-loin pork chops, cut about 1 to 1 1/4 inches thick

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

Combine flour, paprika, salt and pepper on a plate. Dust pork with flour mixture. Heat oil in heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Arrange pork in skillet. Brown for 3 minutes per side. Pour in broth. Reduce heat to low. Cover skillet and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, turning pork over after 4 minutes. When pork is done, remove from skillet to dinner plates. Increase heat to high, scrape up browned bits in skillet with a spoon and reduce broth slightly. Pour broth over pork.

Each serving has: 300 calories; 17 grams total fat; 30 grams protein; 27.5 grams carbohydrates; 85 milligrams cholesterol and 490 milligrams sodium.


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Maque Choux and Skillet Pork Chops

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