Corn and Flounder: Maque Choux and Meuniére

It’s a cool name for a dish. Not sure what the origin is or why it is called that. I did not want to even research it. The name is definitely French-Creole and this makes sense. Corn Maque Choux is a popular dish in Louisiana and you can find it in various iterations. Some very rich with butter, margarine, cream or evaporated milk. Others, are more light and summery with fewer ingredients. That second one is my preference.

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The preparation I use more often that not is based on a simple recipe from Chef Emeril Lagasse from his book “Louisiana Real and Rustic“. My version here veers off that in a couple of ways and I think it is an improvement in terms of flavor and texture even if it is not exactly traditional. I grill (or broil) the corn and I use a lot of roasted red bell peppers in the mix. Traditionally, green peppers are sautéed with the onions before adding raw or frozen corn kernels.

The fish can be anything that is fresh, mild in flavor and flaky. I used flounder for those same reasons. It was very fresh and at a great price. As usual, I brine the fish in a 10% salt solution for 15 minutes. Then I cooked them very much in the Meuniére style. Seemed to make sense since we are doing French-Creole here and this style is very common in New Orleans. The term means in the style of the flour miller. So, the fish is dredged in flour, pan fried in oil and butter and finished with plenty of brown butter and lemon juice. The natural collagen from the fish and the flour on it help emulsify the sauce in the pan very nicely.

Flounder Meuniére with Roasted Pepper Corn Maque Choux

Servings: 4

Flounder Meuniére
  • 4 Fillets Flounder (about 800 gr / 2lb)
  • 100 gr Salt
  • 1000 gr (4 Cups) Water
  • Flour to dredge the fish
  • 4 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 6 Tbsp Butter
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • A handful of chopped scallions (the green part)
Roasted Pepper Corn Maque Choux
  • 5 – 6 Corn on the cob
  • Olive oil
  • 3 Bell peppers
  • 1 Small onion, chopped small
  • 3 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, peeled and seeded
  • 4 Scallions, chopped small
  • 1 Jalapeno or serrano pepper, seeded and diced fine
Prepare the Corn Maque Choux
  1. Rub the corn cobs with olive oil and grill or cook under the broiler until dark and golden on all sides. Let them cool a bit then cut off the kernels from the cobs.
  2. Heat your oven to 400 F and cut the bell peppers in half across the stems. Remove the seeds, rub with oil and place on a baking sheet. Cook in the oven until charred in spots, about 20 minutes.
  3. Place the peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to steam a bit. Peel them and cut into bite size pieces.
  4. Heat 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan and saute the onions until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for about 4 minutes until some of the liquid has evaporated.
  5. Add the corn kernels and sauté everything for a couple minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Add the scallions and the optional diced jalapenos. Keep warm or reheat gently for service.
Prepare the Fish
  1. Dissolve the salt in the water in a large bowl and add the fish. Allow it to brine for about 12 to 15 minutes. If they are thinner shoot for 12, thicker go for 15 but no more or they will start getting too salty.
  2. Remove the fish from the brine, rinse and pat dry very well. These can be brined, dried and refrigerated (covered of course with plastic wrap!) for several hours now.
  3. Place a cup or so of flour in a shallow plate or small baking dish. Dredge the fish filletsin the flour on both sides and shake off any excess.
  4. Heat the olive oil and 2 Tbsp of the butter in a large nonstick pan until the butter melts.
  5. Add the fish filets to the pan and cook over medium high heat until browned and mostly cooked, about 4 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side for a couple minutes.  It would be great you can fit all the fish at once without overcrowding the pan, but if not, do them in a couple batches, 2 at a time and remove to a plate once cooked then add the other 2.
  6. When the fish is all cooked add the rest of the butter to the pan, swirl it, add any filets that you have taken out and add the lemon juice. Gently swirl the pan around to emulsify the sauce and use a spoon to baste the fish. This should take no more than a minute.
  7. To plate, put a portion of the corn on the dish, top with the fish and drizzle some of the butter sauce all around.  Garnish with more green onions and enjoy.

2 thoughts on “Corn and Flounder: Maque Choux and Meuniére

  1. I have never heard of this dish, which is not surprising as I have never been to Louisiana. It sounds tasty. I find it easier to just salt the fish an hour or so before instead of using a brine. That way it is easier to control the saltiness and there is no need to mix water and salt.

    1. I do sometimes just salt the fish and rinse instead of the brine, but I find the brine method produces slightly better result. It’s not only to season but the brine also really “cleans” a lot of the impurities and -especially on thicker fish like salmon- cuts down on a lot of the unsightly white protein that seeps out sometimes during cooking. Maybe the two methods produce identical results and I am just biased…maybe time for one of your side by side experiments 🙂 ?

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