Friday, August 26, 2011

Creamy Corn Chowder

It's summer.  Yes.  It's still summer.  Never mind the (very) minor chill in the air in the mornings and evenings now.  I'm holding on to the dream of warm weather sticking around for the coming few months.  It's still summer.  I swear.
To help fuel my endless summer fantasy, I made a creamy corn chowder, courtesy of Rocco's Now Eat This Cookbook.  I wanted to take advantage of the fresh corn that is still in season right now and sweet, fresh corn always reminds me of summer. For some reason I was also craving a chowder of sorts, so Rocco's recipe really addressed both of my cravings.  Think of this as a gently compromise between summer and fall.

Creamy Corn Chowder
slightly adapted from Rocco's Now Eat This cookbook
makes ~8 servings

Print Recipe
  • 2 small onions, diced
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Corn kernels from 6 ears fresh corn
  • 3 cups cauliflower, diced
  • 5 cups 2% milk (or any % desired)
  • Habanero sauce, to taste
  • 4.25 oz can green chiles, diced finely
  • 14 oz Greek yogurt
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced thinly
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Tip: If you do harvest the corn kernels from ears of fresh corn, run the back of your knife down the empty ear of corn once you're done removing the kernels.  "Corn milk" will be produced and you can add this to the soup for extra flavor.

1) Add the olive oil to a large pot over medium heat.  When the oil is fragrant, add the onion and corn.

2) Saute the onion and corn until they start to soften.  Season with salt and pepper.

3) Add the habanero sauce, cauliflower and milk. (Add the "corn milk" at this time as well.)  Cover the pot and bring the chowder to a boil.

4) Reduce the heat to medium-low and allow the chowder to gently simmer until the vegetables are tender, approximately 15 minutes.

5) Strain 2 cups of the chowder solids through a sieve or finely-slotted spoon and reserve for later.  Add half of the green chiles to the chowder solids.

6) Add the other half of the green chiles to the pot of chowder.

7) Using an immersion blender or regular blender, puree the chowder until smooth.  (If using a regular blender, be careful when filling the blender with the hot chowder! Return the chowder to the pot once pureed.)

8) Add the chowder solids back into the pot and bring the chowder to a boil.

9) Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the yogurt and scallions.

10) Season the chowder to taste with salt, pepper, and habanero sauce.

If you like, you can choose to roast the ears of corn prior to adding them to the pot.  That should infuse a smoky flavor into the chowder.  You can also choose to puree the entire chowder, but I personally like that the chowder has chunks of corn and chile submerged in the puree.  Every spoonful of the chowder is creamy from the puree, but then your mouth realizes that there are itty-bitty morsels in there to munch on.  The corn is sweet, the chiles are tangy, and the scallions are mild and crunchy.  The heat from the habanero sauce is subtle, but it adds a little kick to the dish that would sorely be missed otherwise.  This chowder turned out to be more filling than I had initially anticipated but each mouthful was taken down with pure joy.

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