22 January 2012

Summer Corn Chowder

I made this chowder last summer with fresh corn from the farmer's market, and loved it so much, that I made it twice. What's great about this recipe is that it is one of those soups that gets better overnight in the fridge, and tastes good both cold and hot. It combines lovely fresh summer flavors with a bit of spice from the hot peppers. Well into the thick of winter, I could use a bowl of this right about now.

 This recipe, like most of the ones I try, popped up in my googlereader. It's from the food52blog, which is a blog composed entirely of reader submissions. Each week, readers contribute their recipes, and then the recipes are voted on. The winning recipe is the recipe of the week, hence the name food52. Food52 recently released a cookbook made up of their winning recipes over the course of a year, check it out!

And now, without further ado, I give you Summer Corn Chowder!
  ingredients Ingredients serves 6
6 medium ears of corn
6 strips of bacon, cut into half inch pieces
1 small onion
1 medium poblano, finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 small celery rib, finely chopped
3 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
2 medium boiling potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and cubed
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground all spice
pinch of sugar
1 small bay leaf
2 cups light cream, at room temperature
1 cup milk
freshly ground black pepper
chopped parsley for garnish

Cooking instructions
1) Working over a bowl, cut the corn kernels from the cobs at about half their depth. Then, using the back of the knife, scrape the cobs over the bowl to release all the "milk"; set aside.

2) In a large saucepan, fry the bacon over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain. Crumble and reserve.

3) Discard all but 3 tablespoons of the bacon drippings from the pan. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the poblano pepper, jalapeƱo and celery and cook until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, potatoes, salt, allspice, sugar, bay leaf and the reserved corn kernels and their "milk" and stir well. Cook over moderate heat until mixture begins to sizzle.

4) Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, 35 to 45 minutes. Stir in the cream and milk and bring just to a boil. Remove from heat and season with black pepper to taste. Ladle the chowder into bowls and garnish with the crumbled bacon and parsley.

Note: This soup is labor intensive to prep, it's a lot of cutting/seeding/peeling/shucking, etc. I suggest doing this with a partner, so that you don't get too exhausted! It can also be made vegetarian by simply excluding the bacon and sauteeing the vegetables in olive oil rather than bacon fat.

shuckingcorn off cobsoup and melon Bon appetite!!

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