Sex is good, but not as good as fresh, sweet corn. ~Garrison Keillor
|I guess I haven't got this blogging thing down yet. I forgot to take a pic of my corn chowder last night, so I looked for a photo in Google. This one looks pretty close to what my chowder looks like.|
I've mentioned before (here? or commenting on another blog? I don't know...) that I'm sort of a "flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants" kind of cook. Although I often get my inspiration from an actual recipe I find somewhere, I almost always end up veering off on my own. That's why I don't bake much. You have to follow directions - usually very closely - and I just don't do that well. Short attention span or something. I don't know. Anywayyyy...over the years I've kind of made up my own recipes for some favorites, and Corn Chowder is one of them. It is amazingly simple, and while it's best made with fresh corn, I often use frozen corn, because I love soup in the winter and it's hard to find local fresh corn in the winter. I promise it is really, really close to just as good as fresh. Oh, and a warning: while I don't eat meat as a general rule, there is a small amount in this recipe. I've tried making it without the pancetta, but it is not the same. Two or three ounces of pancetta adds a ton of flavor. It just does. If you figure out a way to make this without it, let me know.
Since I am such a...shall we say creative cook, and I don't usually measure anything, I've estimated measurements here. Feel free to change things. Oh, and I like spicy. If you don't, feel free to cut back on the red pepper flakes and jalapeno, although I'm not sure I would leave it out completely. Might be too mild and sweet.
6 cups corn kernals (fresh or thawed, if using frozen)
1/2 to 3/4 cup half and half
1 red or green bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and very finely diced (to taste)
2 to 3 oz pancetta, finely diced (Italian bacon - I find it in the deli at my grocery store)
1 sweet onion, finely diced
1/4 to 1/2 cup vegetable broth (I use Wolfgang Puck's - it's awesome!)
Red Pepper Flakes to taste
In a soup pot, using a small amount of olive oil, saute pancetta, bell pepper, jalapeno, and onion over medium-low heat, until veggies are soft - about 5 mins.
In the meantime, put 5 cups of corn and the half and half in blender (you may have to do it in two batches) and pulse a few times until fairly smooth and creamy. If it's too thick add a little more half and half. It's amazing how thick corn gets when you put it in the blender.
Add the creamy corn mix, the rest of the corn kernels, and the broth to the soup pot and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, until heated through and the whole kernels are cooked. Add S&P and red pepper flakes to taste (you may not want these if you don't like spicy). Serve with a nice, crusty bread. This usually makes enough for our dinner and we each get lunch out of it the next day, so maybe four servings.