Sunday, September 22, 2013

Corn Chowder

My overabundance of sweet corn has turned into chowder. I'm a tad late posting a corn recipe mid-September...I made this a little over 2 weeks ago, but I somehow think that people are still eating corn from their gardens. Thus, they must be getting sick of corn by the middle of September and need a good chowder recipe. How's that for justification?

Like most recipes I create, this one was born after a web search gave me Tyler Florences' version (bacon-less) and Saveur's version (bacon-ed up). I obviously had to have bacon in my chowder, so I've made a hybrid of both of the recipes. 

The chow-dah (yep, I lived in Maine!) must have fresh herbs in it, but I guess you could use dried if you want to be a total loser. But look at that fresh thyme...doesn't that make you do a happy dance? Me, too. I will revert to this photo in the middle of February and meditate. Om.

Making a roux. Thick. Creamy. Roux-ey. 

A bubbly cauldron of roux and milk. Sorry, I have Halloween on the brain. I'm feeling stressed out because I have to coordinate two costumes for two little people and for a person who as a child wanted to be a bum every Halloween that's a stressful task. I'm hoping we can skip it this year (insert hysterical laughing and pointing fingers at me HERE). 

Everything is better with bacon. Seriously. Suddenly feeling better about costumes.
Yes, this was me testing the soup while standing over the cauldron, ahem, kettle.  When you eat this soup you can expect thick, rich and hearty. Meaty. Kinda man-food. Stick to your bones. Meal in a bowl. Serve with crusty bread or alone...the amount of corn and potatoes make it chock full of vedge which means completely guilt free!

You can use any type of milk, depending on how rich you like it. I used 2%, but Tyler's recipe called for heavy cream. If you wanted to go vegetarian you could omit the bacon, use olive oil and vegetable stock. Make sure to use good quality stock or make your own. I think this soup would freeze beautifully so you could enjoy mid-winter. Enjoy and happy cooking!

Corn Chowder
serves 8

prep time: 20 minutes
cook time: 35 minutes

1/2 pound bacon
3 tablespoons bacon drippings
1 onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
14.5 ounces chicken broth
2 cups milk
2 potatoes, diced
3 cups corn kernels
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

In a large dutch oven place the bacon in one layer and cook over medium heat, flipping occasionally, until cooked through and crisp. Remove bacon to a paper-towel lined plate and reserve. 

Drain all but 3 tablespoons of the bacon drippings from the pan and add onion, garlic, and thyme and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 8 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, coarsely chop bacon. 

Sprinkle the flour and turmeric over the vegetables and stir to coat everything well. Pour in the broth and bring to a boil. Add the milk and potatoes, bring to a boil and boil for about 10 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked through and begin to break down. Add corn and bacon. 

Season with salt and pepper and simmer until the corn is soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in the parsley. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve hot. 

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I'd love to hear all about your kitchen adventures! Xo, Becki