For the Maque Choux: Heat a 10-inch saute pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and butter to the pan and cook until the butter is melted, about 45 seconds. Add the onions, bell peppers and celery to the pan and cook, stirring often, until the onions are translucent, and the peppers and celery are soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, corn, Essence, salt and cayenne to the pan and cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes. Pour the cream and milk into the saute pan and lower the heat to low. Continue to cook the corn until tender and most of the cream has reduced and the maque choux is creamy, 3 to 4 minutes. At the end of the cooking, add the bacon and stir to combine.
For the Tomato Jam: Combine all the ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature before serving.
For the Oysters: Set 3 shallow bowls next to one another on the counter top. Place the flour in the bowl to the left, the buttermilk and egg in the center bowl, and the bread crumbs in the third bowl. Season the buttermilk with 1 teaspoon of Essence and the bread crumbs with 2 teaspoons of Essence. Use a whisk or a fork to beat the egg into the buttermilk.
Set a 10-inch saute pan over medium-heat and add the olive oil. While the oil is heating, bread the oysters. Dredge the oysters, one by one, in the bowl with the flour, shaking to remove any excess, then dip the oysters in the bowl with the buttermilk and egg. Once covered in the egg wash, place the oyster in the bread crumbs. Dredge to evenly coat, and then press the oysters to flatten as much as possible. Add the oysters to the pan and fry until golden brown, about 1 1/2 minutes. Turn the oysters to the other side and cook until golden brown, about 1 1/2 minutes.
To serve, divide the maque choux among 4 warm appetizer plates, and place 1 tablespoon of the bacon over the maque choux. Place 2 oysters over the maque choux, and top with a spoonful of the tomato jam. Garnish with fresh chervil or chopped fresh parsley
Combine all ingredients thoroughly.
Yield: 2/3 cup
Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch, published by William and Morrow, 1993.