Updated: May 9, 2022
From "The Infinite Feast: How to Host the Ones You Love—Recipes from the Big Easy . . . and Beyond" by Brian Theis, 2020 Click here for more on my new cookbook!
A Creole/Native American classic, maque choux is chock full of healthy ingredients, and it's even more fun when you make your own Marie Laveau Voodoo Queen "pins" out of pickled beans and pitted olives! It's a great way to get the kids to eat their veg. Make sure to yell when somebody sticks a pin in your choux!
Marie Laveau's Voodoo Maque Choux
Makes 10 to 12 servings
The Voodoo Queen of New Orleans has a vegetable dish for you. Your house will smell supernaturally good after you cook this one up!
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 ribs celery, diced
1 bag (24 ounces) frozen corn
1 can (15 ounces) blackeyed peas with jalapeños, drained
1 can (16 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or dried thyme
1 cup heavy cream
12 large pitted green olives
12 pickled spicy green beans (Cajun Chef)
1 cup sliced scallions, white and green parts
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, melt butter. Cook onion and garlic till softened, 3 minutes.
Add peppers and celery, cook another 4 minutes. Add corn, blackeyed peas, tomatoes, thyme, cream. Lower heat to medium and simmer for 25 minutes, partially covered.
Meanwhile, place olives on ends of green beans to create voodoo "pins." Stir in scallions, simmer another 3 minutes.
Transfer to serving dish and put green bean and olive "pins" into the maque choux so they are standing upright. Don't fret, sometimes they like to curl over.
Laugh quietly to yourself, with an air of mystery, before serving.
Pictured above: Marie Laveau selling gris-gris (voodoo charms) to a client on a late evening in the French Quarter. Wax tableau from Musée Conti Wax Museum, which operated in New Orleans for over fifty years and sadly closed in 2016.