Friday, October 3, 2008

Succotash vs.Macque Choux

Succotash or Macque Choux

Summer is winding down and Fall is definitely in the air. I had been over to some friends house for dinner and since they were leaving for a short vacation they gave me a bag full of produce from their garden. This Summer I think I grilled more than Bobby Flay on "Boy meets Grill" and with the added cornucopia of produce was trying to figure out how to "sex" up a weekday meal.
I love grilling vegetables and had been playing with mixed raw and grilled vegetable salads all Summer long. I had adapted a Ratatouille for a grill prep and tonight I decided I wanted to make a Succotash. Corn, lima beans, tomatoes, celery, scallions, red onion, fennel bulb, serrano peppers and a little parsley for color. I grilled the corn inside the husk and even grilled the scallions and the celery for a couple of minutes. Was this an "authentic" recipe? Hell, I don't know, it is probably more authentic than the frozen Succotash I ate growing up. This salad can be tweaked a hundred different ways and

Grilled Tri-tip w/Chimmichurri, Bacon wrapped jalapenos, Asparagus & Macque Choux?

It wasn't until I was done with dinner and starting to sit down and write this post that I realized my Succotash might also be considered a Macque Choux (pronounced "mock shoe"). My guess is that Macque Choux had its roots in Succotash and the Cajun/French/Spanish/African influences of Louisiana transformed that dish into a regional specialty. Succotash comes from the Native American Narraganset Indians and it appears to be almost any vegetable medley that uses corn and lima beans. I added a vinaigrette to mine, but in the future I would probably go with a pat of butter and just salt and pepper

2006 Altano

This "bad boy" of a wine has been a favorite Summer pick from Trader Joe's. This sells for around $7.99/bottle and it fights well above its weight.
Cabernet Sauvignon is a classic pairing with beef, but to be honest the "good" Cabernets have an entry price point of $15-20 dollars and the lower end wines tend to have so much oak that all I taste is the vanilla. Don't get me wrong, if someone is opening a bottle of Joseph Phelps Insignia I am all over it. On the other hand, if I am buying wine for a Monday night dinner, I am stocking up on this wine by the case.
Do yourself a favor the next time you are at TJ's, skip the purchase of the $2 Buck Chuck. Spend a couple more dollars and get a wine that has a lot more heart and soul and at this price point this is almost as good as finding a $10 dollar bill in the parking lot.

70% Tinta Roriz and 30% Touriga Franca. Spicy aromas and a hint of coffee and chocolate on the nose. This opens up to a much more meaty complex wine and it shows off a core of dark purple/black fruits. This wine has no apparent oak (yeah!) . Tannins are rounded but clearly present and make this a great wine for a grilled piece of beef. Just enough acidity to provide some freshness and liveliness on the palate as well


Sweet Charity said...

You know, I was so surprised at how good some of those cheap-o wines at TJ's were. Still not a fan of the "champagne" in a can...

Foodycat said...

I've never had either succotash or maque choux - but it looks lovely! I am jealous that you can still get asparagus; that season is well over for us.

Brittany said...

Authentic is a word that pisses me off anyway. It sounds delicious.

I know, call it "authentic succo-choux" You can start a food trend!

Norm Schoen said...

Sweet Charity-TJ's does have some great wine buys if you know what to look for.
Foodycat-I am getting Asparagus....but who knows where it is from ; )
Brittany-How about"Traditional" ?
Maybe I need to trademark my succo-choux

Heather said...

It's nice to see my vegetables on someone else's plate. You did them justice, my friend.