Corn Crop, Wisconsin, USA
Corn Crop, Wisconsin, USA
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Shuckin' and grinnin' at corn fest...



 Stonewall Kitchen, LLC

"Sex is good, but not as good as fresh sweet corn."
.~ Garrison Keillor

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Sweet Corn, Northern Extrasweet Variety
Sweet Corn,...
Wally Eberhart
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 (McIlhenny Company)










A Field of Mature Cornstalks Ready for Harvest
A Field of Mature Cornstalks
Ready for Harvest

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Produce at an Outdoor Market, Helsinki, Finland
Produce at an...
Nancy & Steve...
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Howard Shooter
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Close-Up of Lush and Bountiful Field of Corn
Close-Up of Lush and Bountiful Field of Corn

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La Belle Cuisine


Shuckin' and grinnin' at corn fest
by Marcelle Bienvenu

The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, LA, August 8, 2002

“I've been to a lot of festivals in my life, but I had never been to the Louisiana
Corn Festival in Bunkie until this year. In fact, I had never even heard of the
corn festival.
In case you've never been to the town of Bunkie, it is north of Lafayette and
southeast of Alexandria in Avoyelles Parish. I think of it as where the dark
brown soil begins to take on a shade of red, where sugarcane fields give way
to crops of corn and cotton.
I went to Bunkie and the corn festival to judge the corn-cooking contest. The
weather was hot, hot, hot, as it usually is during the summer. I armed myself
with a couple of bottles of cold water and went about the task at hand with two
other judges.
Now, let me say right up front that I've judged many a cooking contest. For the record, most of the food has been good, but a few sent me to bed with heartburn
and other gastrointestinal problems. I wondered how corn was going to affect
my system.
This contest involved teams that had to bring raw ingredients, and all of the
prep work and cooking had to be done on site in two hours. The judges were encouraged to mingle with the teams, ask questions and observe while they
A few observations:
Two teams consisted of all women. Their spouses offered encouragement, took pictures, and made suggestions on seasoning and presentation. Lots of corn
decor -- corn patterned napkins, tablecloths, potholders, and napkin rings --
were used to decorate their serving tables. Another team, all LSU students,
combined the purple and gold school colors with platters emblazoned with a
corn motif. Now, this was a group to watch!
I noticed that the young men on the team made it their duty to attend and guard
the ice chests filled with cold beverages by sitting on top of them. The co-eds, on
the other hand, busied themselves chopping, stirring and cleaning. I will say
that one fellow did manage to help when an electric skillet blew out.
A more serious team was composed of a family, originally from Louisiana, but
now living in Texas. They were attired in starched white chefs' coats and were
calm and efficient. One pot was all they needed to cook their prize-winning
dish of crawfish maquechoux.
After much hootin' and hollerin' and cookin', we took turns tasting each
team's recipe. I must admit they were all darn good.”


Chicken, Black Beans and
Corn Enchilada Casserole

Makes 6 servings

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onions
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Dash of Tabasco or to taste
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 package frozen corn, thawed, or
2 cups fresh corn kernels
1 cups diced, cooked chicken
1 (10-ounce) package corn tortillas
1 (19-ounce) can green enchilada sauce
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack
cheese with jalapenos

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-inch-square
glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Heat the
oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions,
and cook, stirring, until tender, for four to five minutes.
Add the garlic and cook about 30 seconds. Add the cumin
and Tabasco, stir in the beans, corn and chicken. Remove
from the heat.
Cut the stack of tortillas in half, and cut each half into
one-half-inch strips. Place one-third of the tortilla strips
evenly in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Top
with one-third of the enchilada sauce. Layer with half
of the bean mixture and half of the cheese. Make another
layer with one-third of the tortilla strips and one-third of
the enchilada sauce. Top with the remaining bean mixture
and tortilla strips. Top with the remaining enchilada sauce
and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Spray a sheet of
aluminum foil with cooking spray. Cover the baking dish
with the sprayed side down. Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover
and bake until bubbly, eight to 10 minutes.
- Tina Palermo and team


Crawfish Maquechoux

Makes 8 to 10 servings

6 very ripe tomatoes
2 hot chili peppers
4 small yellow onions
1 dozen ears fresh corn on the husk
2 red bell peppers
3 ribs celery
2 bunches green onions
1 pint sliced white button mushrooms
8 sticks butter
3 tablespoons roasted garlic
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 pounds peeled Louisiana
crawfish tails
Salt and cayenne to taste

Blanch the tomatoes, chili peppers, and one of the onions
in hot water. Remove and cool.
Peel and chop the tomatoes. Chop the chili peppers and
the onion.
Combine the tomatoes, chili peppers and onion in a bowl.
Set aside.
Remove the husks and silk from the corn and rinse with
cool water. With a sharp knife, cut the corn kernels from
half of the ears. With a sharp, pointed knife, make a thin
cut across the top of the corn kernels of the remaining
ears, cutting across a second time to release the milk
from the cobs. Cut and scrape to cut off all the kernels
and extract the milk. Set aside.
Peel and chop the remaining onions. Chop the bell pep-
pers, celery, green onions and mushrooms. Set all aside.
Heat the butter in a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven over
medium heat. Add the mixture of tomatoes, chili peppers
and onions, and cook stirring for one minute. Add the
chopped onions, bell peppers, celery, green onions,
mushrooms, and roasted garlic. Cook, stirring, until
tender, about 10 minutes. Add the flour and whisk to
blend. Cook, stirring, for about 4 minutes. Add the
crawfish and cook for about five minutes. Add the
corn and cook, stirring often, until the corn is tender,
10 to 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and cayenne.
This can be served as an appetizer, or as a main course
served over rice.

- Joella and Mike Bott, Johnny and Phillip Taglianno


Smothered Chicken and
Maquechoux Casserole

Makes 6 to 8 servings

4 ears fresh corn, husked
1/2 cup bacon drippings
One (3-pound) fryer chicken,
cut into serving pieces
1 cup white shoepeg corn
1 cup whole kernel corn
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green bell peppers
1/2 cup chopped red bell peppers
1/4 cup chopped garlic
1/4 cup finely chopped andouille
2 cups coarsely chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
1 quart chicken stock
2 cups peeled and deveined shrimp
1 chopped green onions
Salt and black pepper to taste

Using a sharp knife, cut lengthwise through the kernels
of the corn to remove them from the cob. Scrape each
cob, using the blade of the knife, to remove all the milk
and additional pulp. Set aside.
Heat the bacon drippings in a large, heavy pot over
medium heat. Add the chicken, and cook, turning several
times, to brown evenly. Transfer the chicken to a platter
and keep warm. Add the fresh corn, shoepeg corn, whole
kernel corn, onions, celery, bell peppers, garlic and the
andouille to the pot. Cook, stirring, until all the vegetables
are soft, three to five minutes.
Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, stock and shrimp.
Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20
minutes. Add the chicken and cook for five to seven
minutes. Add the green onions, and season to taste with
salt and pepper.

- Jade Juneau and team

© The Times-Picayune. Used with permission.

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Corn and Tomato Bisque
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Three Corn Salads
Crawfish Maque Choux, Commander's Palace
Craig Claiborne's Maque Choux
Lee Bailey's Shrimp Maque Choux Salad

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