Monday, September 15, 2014

Summer Corn Chowder


The end of summer is near so it is time to take advantage of the last of the summer ingredients available. (Never mind that I live in San Diego and can get any ingredient, any time of the year).  This week I wanted to make some corn dishes and I stumbled upon a great recipe that only needed a small amount of tweaking. (The original recipe is courtesy of The Amateur Gourmet )

Ingredients

  • Kernels from 4 ears of yellow corn (rinse and slice off all kernels as close to the cob as possible). 
  • 5-6 slices of bacon (5oz) (use fewer slices for less fat) , cut into 1/3-inch dice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 red pepper, cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 5 sprigs thyme, leaves removed and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin 
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric (gives everything a nice yellow color)
  • 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice (Add more potatoes if preferred)
  • 4 cups chicken stock (enough to cover everything)
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons minced chives (Plus more for the garnish) * Can use green onions as a substitute

Instructions

  1. Start by rendering the bacon in a 3 to 4-quart heavy pot over low/medium heat. (I do not add any oil to this but you can add a tiny splash of neutral oil (canola, vegetable) to get the bacon going.) Turn up the heat to medium and cook until the bacon is crisp. Pour out all but a tablespoon of bacon fat.
  2.  Add the butter, onion, bell pepper, thyme, cumin, and turmeric along with a pinch of salt. Continue to cook for about 8 minutes, stirring every so often, until the onion is translucent. 
  3. I love the colors in this dish. I used half of a red pepper and half of an orange bell pepper just for the visual appeal. 
      This is the best part when all the aromatics fill the pot.... and the air.  
  4. Then add the corn, potatoes, and stock; turn the heat to high, bring to a boil, and cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  5. Smush some of the corn and potatoes against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon to thicken the chowder. * The original recipe calls for corn starch but I do not like adding it to soups and it really does not need it. If you prefer a very thick chowder, take the time to smash most of the potatoes and it will thicken up the soup. 
  6. Reduce the heat to medium and taste for salt and pepper. Off the heat, add the cream and the minced chives, and adjust for salt. Serve immediately in bowls with the chopped chives.

I prefer chives but did not have any this time so I used green onions as a garnish. 

This is from the first time I made this. This version used chives and slightly more cream.                                      

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