Chef John Folse's Fiesta Macque Choux Salad

Prep Time: 1 Hour
Yields: 6 Servings

Macque Choux is an early Louisiana dish that borrows its name from the Creole word for corn, maque, and the French word for cabbage, choux. Although cabbage doesn't appear in the dish today, it is believed to have been in the original vegetable casserole. Today, macque choux is a baked corn and shrimp dish enjoyed by the Cajuns of River Road. This fiesta salad gives the 200-year-old mixture a Mexican twist.

Ingredients for Vinaigrette:
1 1/4 cups olive oil
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1 avocado, diced

Combine olive oil, vinegar, lime juice and cilantro in a food processor. Pulse for 1 minute. Add avocado and pulse again for 30-second intervals or until blended. Do not over-blend. Pour vinaigrette into a bowl and chill.

Ingredients for Salad:
2 dozen (16-20 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup lime juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup Tequila
2 tbsps triple sec
1 tbsp chopped basil
1 tbsp chopped thyme
salt and cayenne pepper to taste
1-2 red bell peppers
1-2 yellow bell peppers
1 cup whole kernel corn
1 cup diced Creole tomatoes
1/2 cup diced zucchini
1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed
1/2 cup diced Bermuda onions
1 tbsp minced jalapenos
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 tbsp olive oil for sautéing

In a large mixing bowl, combine shrimp, lime juice, lemon juice, tequila, Triple Sec, basil and thyme. Season with salt and cayenne pepper. Toss and marinate shrimp in refrigerator for approximately 30 minutes. While shrimp are marinating, roast red and yellow bell peppers directly over the open flame or under the broiler of your stove, turning frequently. Broil on all sides until skin blisters and blackens. Remove and steam in a brown paper bag for 10-15 minutes. Peel blistered skin from pepper under cold running water. Seed and dice peppers. In a large bowl, toss peppers, corn, tomatoes, zucchini, black beans, onions, jalapeños and chopped cilantro. Set aside. Remove shrimp from marinade. Discard marinade. In a heavy-bottomed sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté shrimp 2-3 minutes or until pink and curled. Remove from pan. Toss shrimp and roasted pepper salad with 1/2 cup of avocado vinaigrette. Garnish the rim of a large margarita glass by dipping it in lime juice and minced cilantro. Fill glass with salad. Garnish with lime slice. Serve with tortilla chips.