Sunday, November 15, 2020

Corn Chowder Time!


Ooooh.  Corn chowder!

I recently made corn puddings using fresh corn off the cob.

And I saved the cobs. 

 Today, I'm making corn chowder and I’m cooking the cobs with the rest of my ingredients to infuse a little more corn flavor into the mix.  Don't worry if you don't have any cobs.  You can make the soup with canned or frozen corn and it will be just fine.  The cobs just give a nice boost to the soup and otherwise I’d just be throwing them away.  And I hate to waste anything that I could’ve used.


Rosie's Corn Chowder
2 TB butter
1 cup diced ham
1 onion, chopped
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
3 stalks celery, sliced
1 quart vegetable stock
5 fresh thyme sprigs
8 corn cobs, kernels cut off and reserved
½ cup cream
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 

Melt butter over medium heat in medium-sized soup pot.  Add in ham, onion, potatoes, and celery and sauté, stirring, for about 3 minutes.  Pour in vegetable stock and add in corn cobs and thyme.  Bring to simmer, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook at bare simmer for about 45 minutes.  Remove cobs and thyme sprigs.  Add in kernels and cook another 10-15 minutes.   

Check consistency of your soup.  I wanted mine a bit thicker so I’m using a French technique to achieve that.  The method uses what is called beurre manié which means “kneaded butter.”  Simply mix by hand equal parts softened butter and flour, in this case 2 TB each.  When you have a uniform paste, add a teaspoon or so of the mixture at a time into your soup and whisk until it has completely dissolved.  Continue cooking a few minutes until the raw taste of the flour has gone.  Add another teaspoon if needed and keep stirring.  You'll eventually get thickening but no clumping because the butter melts and evenly disperses the flour particles which swell and thicken your soup as it simmers, with the bonus effect of adding a velvety, sleek luster to the finished product.  You can cover and refrigerate or freeze any leftover beurre manie for later use.

Finally, pour in the cream and heat through.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Ladle soup into bowls and serve with toast or croutons, hot sauce, if desired, snipped parsley and chives, and I like some minced multi-colored bell peppers for the flavor and the pretty.  Also, if you're in the cilantro camp, go ahead and add some of that too.  It goes nicely with added hot sauce or salsa.


Rosie Note:    If you don’t have ham, you could certainly use bacon.  Just fry it up, set a few pieces aside, and use some of the bacon grease in place of the butter or with the butter for sautéing the vegetables.  Sprinkle reserved bacon crumbles on top of soup when serving.

Now for the step by steps:

Onions, celery, and ham go into a medium hot skillet with melted butter. 

Add in the potatoes and stir for a few minutes.

Thyme sprigs in.

Add in vegetable broth.

Add in corn cobs.
Bring to boil.
Reduce to simmer.
Slow simmer for 45 minutes or so.
Until the potatoes are cooked.

Remove cobs and thyme sprigs.

Add in the corn.

Cook another 15 minutes or so.

To thicken,
add in beurre manié.

Just a bit at a time,
stirring until incorporated
and thickened.

Add in cream.
Heat through.

Chives, parsley, and a few splashes of hot sauce.
Along with buttered and toasted bagel slice.








Minced red bell pepper.
A few grinds of pepper.


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