Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Cheddar Corn Chowder

Alright, soup is probably not the first thing that crosses your mind when the temperature is nearing 100 degrees outside. That being said, we wanted to do something different with the beautiful sweet corn we picked up at the store, so we crafted a delicious corn chowder.

We based this off of Ina Garten's recipe. Ina's never led us down the wrong path in the past, and she didn't this time either. We halved the recipe, though, because it makes a TON!

You could easily make this a vegetarian chowder by taking the bacon out altogether and swapping the chicken stock for vegetable stock.

Here's what you need:
3 strips of bacon (omit this step if making vegetarian)
2 large onions
1/8 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp tumeric
1 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
6 cups low-sodium chicken stock (vegetable stock if making vegetarian)
1 lb boiling potatoes, skin on
5 ears of fresh corn (or 1 1/2 lb frozen corn)
1 cup half and half
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (we used medium cheddar, but you can use what you want)

Here's what you do:
Start by dicing your onion.

We also cleaned and diced our potatoes at the beginning, so we had less to do later.

Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat.

Cook the bacon until crispy, then set aside. If you're making the vegetarian version of this dish, just start by cooking the onions with the butter in the olive oil.

Reduce the heat to medium, then add the onions and butter.

Let the onions cook for about 10 minutes. 

Meanwhile, boil water for your corn and salt well.

Slice the corn off the cob.

Blanche the corn in the boiling water for about three minutes. If you're using frozen corn, you don't need to boil it.

Drain the corn and set aside.

When your onions have become translucent, like this:

Add the flour, tumeric, salt and pepper to the pot.

Give it a good stir and let the mixture cook for about 3 minutes. This will take the raw flour taste out of your chowder.

Once your roux is cooked, add the chicken stock. (Vegetable stock for vegetarian).

And, add the potatoes.

Return the heat to medium high or high and bring to a boil. Let boil for 15 minutes, or until your potatoes are tender.

Once your potatoes are tender, reduce the heat back to medium and add the corn.

Add the cream.

And finally, add the cheese.

Stir everything to combine it and cook for another 5 minutes or so. Stir occasionally to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot.

While the cheese was melting and the chowder is coming together, we whipped up a garnish by crumbling the bacon, adding diced avocado, and some cilantro.

Serve hot.


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