Corn Chowder, Delightfully Fresh and Delish!

Corn on the cob continues to be tasty if you can source it locally.  I found some the last two weekends and have made some delightful corn chowders.  While both were excellent I chose to share this slightly more traditional version with you. Using just 2 big ears of corn I was able to make 4 servings of hearty soup.  I took a recipe off the epicurious website and made only a few changes – it was very easy to put together. This version met my three qualifications: gluten free, simple and yummy.

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Even if the corn you find isn’t the greatest this late in the season I am betting this chowder will be a hit with your family.  The mixture of veggies adds so much flavor especially since they are not masked by a lot of spices.

Notes: I put in the cobs (I cut each one in half to fit) as my soup broth simmers because they are crammed full of corny flavor that can perfect your chowder. Do not leave out or change the cream; it isn’t that much per serving and it won’t have the right consistence without the heavy cream.  Finally, be careful with the broth; a lot of commercial broth’s are not gluten free; for some weird reason there is gluten in many varieties.  Kitchen Basics is great or Kitchen Accomplice concentrate (used that this time) is very convenient; squeeze bottle in the fridge.

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Angie’s Corn Chowder

Serves four

Ingredients

1 slice of bacon, diced

1 large onion, diced (1 cup)

1 large carrot diced

1 small celery rib diced

1 medium potato peeled, either Russet or Gold Yukon

2 ½ cups chicken broth, low salt or homemade

1 sprig of fresh thyme

2 large ears of corn; cut off the cobs.

¾ cup heavy cream

½ tsp. sea salt

¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Directions: Sauté the diced bacon in a large heavy saucepan.  Remove the crisp bacon.  Add the onion, carrot and celery.  Sauté ten minutes, until the vegetables are fairly soft.

Add the potato, broth, thyme, and corn cobs; simmer 15-20 minutes until the potato chunks are soft.  Remove the thyme and corn cobs.  Add the corn, cream, salt and pepper.  Cook 3-5 more minutes.  If it seems too thick add up to another half cup of broth. Serve with the bacon sprinkled on top or stirred in.

Optional additions which I didn’t use; half a red bell pepper cooked with the carrot/onion/celery, half a sweet potato diced and added with the white potato and 1 diced tomato and some chives sprinkled on top of the soup.  I might try some or all of them next time, yes I plan on making this again soon before the corn gets too tired; it was delightfully fresh tasting.  You could leave off the bacon if you are meat free; substitute in some good quality olive oil; maybe 2 tbsp. of it and use a veggie broth instead of the chicken broth.

It was perfect just as I made it but I am betting any number of variations would work. Have fun with what you have available and what you like to eat.  Soup isn’t as technical as baking so mix it up! That is my philosophy of cooking with veggies.

Source recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/corn-chowder.

Sweet Corn on the Cob Without A Hot Kitchen

Sweet corn season is here.  In many places really good sweet corn can be had, like farms markets, road side stands and even Wegmans!  You can get it at Musikfest at a price; $4 for an ear. aw shucks corn

It is delicious but really? That’s a lot of moola for an ear that costs 40 cents at my local grocery store. Big mark up going on! So make it at home. I don’t know about you but when I only am making one or two ears it seems silly to fire up a tall pot of water.  I do steam the corn which only takes an inch or so of hot water but still…too much to do.

Last summer, on a hot day, I realized there was a quick and easy way to make an ear…or two without that big hot pan of water and steam. I just take a large frying pan, put a quarter inch of water in it, sprinkle of salt and let it heat until bubbling.  I then lay in my ear or two (I think you could squeeze in three) which I have husked and removed all the silk.  Then the pan is topped with a lid or a metal pizza pan if your frying pan is too big for your lids.  Cook it the usual time; depends on how fresh the corn is.  The fresher your corn ears, the less cooking time you need.  The steam in the pan will cook it really fast.  Maybe 6 to 8 minutes.

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And the bonus is that if it runs out of water your ear will get a bit of carmelization going which only adds to the flavor.  In fact I hope it gets browned a bit; sometimes I rotate the ear to brown it on another side.  Remove with tongs when your corn reaches the done stage you like.  Sometimes I take a quick bite to test for eating readiness!

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Carmelization…Yummy!

Serve your ear(s) with salt and butter and enjoy fresh corn without heating the kitchen up much.

Originally published June 2015: I thought some of you needed a gentle reminder to try this; gonna be hot in the next seven days here in PA!