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Hispanic Heritage Month Recipes

Happy Hispanic Heritage Month! Each year, from September 15 to October 15 Americans celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month by sharing the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America. Last year - 2021 was especially significant because it was the 200th anniversary of Costa Rican Independence from Spain. Here are a few traditional & unique Latin American recipes you may want to add to your menu: 

Maque Choux w/ Fried Green Tomatoes

Maque ChouxFried Green Tomatoes
Exhibit A) The Cast of Jersey Shore (FAKE)- MTV.com
There are a lot of misconceptions about New Jersey. 

Thanks to crappy "reality" television and movies many people think we are a dirty state, filled with people who can't drive, who dress and "tawk" like trash, and who spend enormous amounts of time on fake nails and tanning. There is nothing more frustrating than having people from other states and countries expecting you to behave like trash just because that's how people from this state are portrayed on TV. 


Let's get something straight... there ARE people like that here, but they don't make up the majority, and I'm ABSOLUTELY positive they are not exclusively in NJ. Keep in mind only 2 of the cast on Jersey Shore were actually from NJ, so it's not an accurate representation by any means.

That being said, one of the perks of living in central NJ is the large amount of family farms. Family farms means fresh produce, fresh meat, and fresh dairy! There's nothing like sun-ripened fruits and vegetables. We are very lucky to have a small kitchen garden but we also live in close proximity to many farms and orchards. 
On the same stretch of road 10 minutes from our house there are 2 farms.


It is called the Garden State for a reason! So let's celebrate the positive, 
the real NJ... full of parks, beaches, and farms.

Here's my take on two Southern favorites made with Farm Fresh sweet corn and home grown Fried green tomatoes. Maque choux, pronounced "mock shoe," is a traditional dish of southern Louisiana's Cajun country. It is thought to be a mix of French Acadian and Native American fare. It makes a great meal on it's own, but you can add some grilled chicken/ turkey to it for a heartier meal:

Here's my recipe for Maque Choux w/ Fried Green Tomatoes

Maque Choux Cooking for Kishore

Ingredients

Maque Choux
  • 1 yellow onion, minced
  • 1 Jalapeño, seeded & minced
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, diced
  • 1 Ripe Tomato, diced
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Thyme
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 3-4 Basil Leaves
  • 2-3 Cups of Sweet Corn Kernels
  • 2 Tbsp Sour Cream
  • 1 1/2 cups Water
  • 1 tsp each Salt & Black Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Butter or Olive Oil

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter/ olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, jalapeño, bell pepper, salt, pepper, and paprika. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring, until the onion is translucent.
  2. Add the tomatoes, garlic, bay leaves, chili flakes, oregano, and thyme. Simmer for 10 minutes with cover, until the tomatoes start to break down.
  3. Then add the corn kernels and water. Simmer with cover, until the corn is tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Stir in the sour cream and let simmer without cover until slightly thickened. Serve Hot & Enjoy!
Yield: Serves 3-4
Prep Time: 10 mins.
Cook time: 30 mins.
Total time: 40 mins.
Tags: Cajun, Corn, Fusion Cuisine, garden, Garden State, Herbs, Jersey Fresh, Lousiana, Maque Choux, New Jersey, Recipes, Southern cooking, Spices, tomatoes, Vegetarian

Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried Green Tomatoes
Cooking for Kishore

Ingredients

  • 1-2 Hard Green Tomatoes
  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 1 Cup Buttermilk
  • 1 Cup Seasoned Breadcrumbs
  • Vegetable Oil for frying
  • 1/2 tsp each Salt& Pepper

Instructions

  1. Slice the tomatoes into 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick.
  2. Place the flour seasoned with salt and pepper, milk, and breadcrumbs into individual bowls.
  3. One at a time, dip the tomato slices first in the flour, then in the milk, and then in the breadcrumbs.
  4. Heat about a 1/2-inch of vegetable oil in a skillet. Fry the tomatoes until golden on both sides.
  5. Drain oil on paper towels. Serve Hot & Enjoy!
Yield: Serves 3-4
Prep Time: 5 mins.
Cook time: 10 mins.
Total time: 15 mins.
Tags: Fried green tomatoes, green tomatoes, garden, Garden State, green tomatoes, Jersey Fresh, New Jersey, Recipes, Southern cooking, Spices, Vegetarian,

Spoon some maque choux onto each plate with some fried tomatoes.

Enjoy!





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