Caramel-Fig Wahoo with Maque Choux


Mom’s house in Gulf Breeze has two fig trees. The one on the east side produces lots of ripe figs, and the other one, the smaller tree on the west side, shows promise for eventually producing some truly remarkable figs. My brother is usually lucky, beating the birds to the first crop, but I’m afraid I lost the second round to the birds. So the day’s harvest of nine figs from the east-side tree was just barely enough to make my caramel-fig sauce. (This sauce is great on wahoo, but it also works well on pancakes.)


The Wahoo

4 6-ounce Gulf wahoo fillets

Green onions for garnish

Salt and pepper

1 bottle Caymus Conunbrum

Caramel-Fig Sauce

  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup mirin
  • 2 ounces sherry
  • 1 cup minced figs
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Maque Choux

  • 4 strips bacon
  • 1/3 cup diced yellow onion
  • 3 ears sweet corn, kernels cut from cob
  • 1/3 cup poblano pepper
  • 1/3 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup diced green onions


For this puzzling, yet delicious, mix of Asian and Southern cuisine, crack a bottle of Conundrum from Caymus Vineyards to help you see your way.

Make the maque choux first. Fry up four strips of bacon in your grandma’s cast iron skillet; chop bacon and set aside. Sauté yellow onion in skillet for a minute or so. Add corn, peppers and garlic. Stir for about 3 minutes, pitch in bacon bits, cook for 1 more minute and season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss with green onions and reserve.

To make the sauce, sweep everything into a saucepan and reduce to about 1 cup. I start on high and bring the temperature down as the liquid reduces.

Salt and pepper fillets, coat with sauce and chuck into the oven at 425 degrees for about 8 minutes, or until the flesh flakes with a fork.

To plate, make a bed of maque choux, place wahoo on top, drizzle with sauce and garnish with green onion. Call in your company, pour wine all around and sit down to a delicious Southern summer treat.