The 2000 publication of Food for the Soul: A Texas Expatriate Nurtures Her Culinary Roots in Paris accomplished two goals for its author, Monique Wells. Collecting the recipes resolved her—and other Parisian African Americans’—hankering for a taste of home, and sharing lovely, seasonal dishes like maque choux (adapted here) opened the eyes of elite French cooks to the flavors of the American South and Southwest. This led noted French chef Alain Ducasse to write Wells’s preface, lauding generations of Black cooks who, like Wells, dedicated themselves to uplifting the image of soul food. —Toni Tipton Martin
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2 to 4
3 to 4 ears corn, shucked
finely diced onion
finely diced green bell pepper
crushed red pepper flakes
black pepper, or to taste
salt, or to taste
heavy whipping cream or half-and-half
minced fresh parsley
minced green onions
In This Recipe
Use a sharp knife to cut the kernels off the corn cobs, then turn the knife and use the dull side to scrape the cob down to release any remaining bits of corn and corn milk.
In a heavy skillet, heat the butter over medium-high heat until melted and sizzling. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic and sauté until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the thyme, red pepper flakes, black pepper, salt, sugar (if using), and corn. Cook, stirring, until the corn is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the cream and cook 5 minutes more to thicken. Stir in the parsley and green onions. Taste and adjust seasoning with more salt and pepper.