Monday, July 25, 2011

Bonus! An amazing corn chowder

As I promised in my last post, today I'm sharing the corn chowder I put together on the Fourth of July, with help from my sister-in-law (aka "Aunt J"). Even though it has nothing to do with any Nicholas Sparks books, this was so delicious I decided it would be criminal not to share it.

I've had this cookbook for about two years,

and I've never tried any of the recipes until now. I was looking through the index for a recipe for cheese potatoes, and when I saw "Corn chowder with applewood smoked bacon" I knew I had to try it. I've been getting applewood bacon from my local butcher lately, and now it's the only bacon I'll buy. With corn in season now, what better time to make some delicious corn chowder? Even though Joe told me he didn't really like corn chowder, I said I was going to make it anyway and if he didn't want to eat it, there would be more for the rest of us!


Yield: 4 servings

1 poblano chile

4 slices applewood-smoked bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces

1 onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

3 1/2 cups white or yellow corn kernels (about 4 ears) or 16 ounces frozen corn

2 cups chicken broth

1 cup milk

1/2 pound new potatoes, diced

Salt and pepper

Char the chile over a gas flame or under a broiler until it is blackened and charred on all sides. Transfer the chile to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow it to steam while cooling. Peel, seed, stem, and dice the chile. (Can be prepared up to 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Cook the bacon in a heavy, large saucepan over medium heat until it is almost crisp and the fat is renedred, about 7 minutes. Pour off some of the fat (leaving about 1 tablespoon) and add the onion. Cover and cook until the onion is tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, oregano, and then the corn. Add the broth, milk, and potatoes, and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Add the poblano chile and simmer for 5 minutes to blend the flavors. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.

(From Blue Eggs and Yellow Tomatoes: Recipes from a Modern Kitchen Garden by Jeanne Kelley, p. 62)

I love my Pampered Chef corn cutting thingy!

The best part--the bacon!

One of Aunt J's tasks as Sous Chef was dicing the potatoes and onions.

Aunt J. is a big fan of The Pioneer woman. She likes the way Ree posts step-by-step photos with all her recipes. I'm not as consistent about that; Ree is a professional, after all.

Delicious! We gave Moe a teensy bit; he made me promise to make it with rice milk next time.

"You know how I said I don't like corn chowder?" says Joe. "Well, I like THIS corn chowder." He said the same thing about the beef stew, too.

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