Saturday, June 28, 2014

sweet corn summer chowder

Houston Summer.  Yes, it's hot. Yes, it's humid.  Yes, there are mosquitoes.  But there's sweet corn, too! This helps to temper things... just a bit.   Ever since the first of the sweet corn started arriving in the bushel, we've been obsessed with this Summer chowder.  Full of everything fresh -- corn, zucchini, poblano, carrots, new potatoes, onion.... Summer in a bowl, and in your belly.

Small dice onion, carrots, zucchini and poblano and saute.  This time we made it with a bit of bacon, but have eaten it both with and without and it's good either way.  If you choose the vegetarian option, omit the bacon, add in an extra tablespoon of butter before you throw the veggies in to saute, and sub veggie stock for the chicken stock.

When the vegetables are just tender, season with salt, pepper, thyme, and stir in 1/4 cup flour.  Continue to cook and stir the mixture for a couple of minutes.  Add in chicken stock, corn cut off the cob and potatoes, bring to a boil and simmer for about 15-20 minutes.  Add in milk and continue to simmer for 20 minutes more.  I like to add a dash or two of  tabasco sauce.  Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Garnish with finely diced zucchini, a few fresh corn kernels, crisp bacon bits and a bit of fresh dill.  Dig in!

sweet corn summer chowder
(serves 4-6)

2 slices bacon, cut into small pieces (or omit and add an extra Tablespoon of butter)
2 T butter
3 large cloves garlic, minced
2 medium carrots, small dice
1 medium sweet onion, small dice
2 medium zucchini, small dice, reserve some for garnish
1 medium/large  poblano pepper, small dice
1 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper
1/4 cup flour
4 cups chicken stock
4 ears sweet corn, kernels cut from cob, reserve some for garnish
6 small new potatoes, medium dice
2 cups milk
Dash or two Tabasco sauce

Add bacon to a heavy soup pot or Dutch oven on medium heat.  Saute until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp.  Remove bacon from pan to drain on paper towel. Add the butter to the pot.  Once it has melted, add in the carrots, onion, zucchini, poblano and garlic, and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.  Season with salt, pepper and add in the thyme.  Stir in the flour and continue to cook while stirring for a couple of minutes.  Slowly add in the stock while stirring.  Add in the corn and potatoes and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes are just tender.  Add in the milk, a dash or two of Tabasco sauce, and continue to cook, stirring from time to time, for about 20 minutes more.  Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.  Garnish with finely diced zucchini, a few fresh corn kernels, crisp bacon bits and a bit of fresh dill.

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