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"What's for Dinner Honey?" Redhead Betty's Corn Chowder

corn chowder









"What's for Dinner Honey?" Redhead Betty's Corn Chowder

I love, love, love corn chowder, it combines all my favorite starches—potatoes and corn in one dish?  I'm in!

It's evocative of beach days where you come back home chilled from the ocean and need something hearty and warm, or of early fall days when you're not quite ready for a heavy stew but feel like something cozy.  Serve this chowder with biscuits and call life sweet.

Corn Chowder

4 ears husked sweet corn
4 slices bacon cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 Cubanelle (or other mild) pepper diced
1 small leek chopped white only
1/2 medium onion diced
4 Yukon Gold potatoes cubed
32 oz chicken stock {a box o' chicken}
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup half and half
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 sprig fresh thyme
Coarse salt
Fresh pepper
Fresh Italian parsley or chives

Shuck the corn and snap off the stem.  Cut kernels off the cob and set aside. Break cobs into thirds, and toss in a saucepan with 3 cups water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes to make a corn stock. Strain, discarding cobs; you should have about 2 cups.

Toss the cubed bacon in a frying pan and cook until crisp and set aside. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat and toss in the leeks, onion, red pepper flakes, thyme and peppers and saute until the vegetables are translucent about 5 minutes. 

Transfer the vegetables to a stock pot and add corn kernels, potato and chicken stock.  Bring to a simmer and cook {skimming the foam if needed} for about 10 minutes.  Taste and adjust salt and pepper. 

Here is where I show my chowder preference: I like a brothy chowder, not thick.  If you like your chowder thick, toss 2-3 tablespoons of masa {corn flour available in the Mexican food aisle} in a bowl and add water until it's soupy.  Stir that mix into the chowder and cook 5 minutes.  Masa is a great thickener and will add a nice corn flavor {great for chili too.}

Now add milk and half and half, return to simmer but do not boil.  Top with bacon and chopped parsley or chives.

Betty Tip: As with most soups, it's best the next day...if you can wait that long.

Betty Tip 2: You can add cooked chicken, lobster or crab to the recipe for added fabulousness.  Pre-cook them and add to the bowl before you pour the chowder in.  We even used a sauteed crabcake once which was indulgently delicious….