Thursday, October 8, 2009

BB: Cheddar Corn Chowder

First off, I would like to apologize for my lack of BB participation in September. I will say that I actually did make the birthday sheet cake, but never took pics, and wasn't really wow-ed by it. I do plan to make Beatty's Chocolate Cake in the near future as well.

On to October! I was super excited when I saw that Jill of My Next Life chose cheddar corn chowder. This has been a staple in our house for years, so I was grateful for the opportunity to make it and blog it.

Being that I've made it several times (most recently last month at my sister's house!), I have made several changes along the way. I always leave out potatoes.... well because the first time I made it I forgot to buy them, and I didn't feel like they were missing.. and I feel like corn is starchy enough on its own. Maybe this means its no longer a chowder? Who knows. Anyway, I decrease the chicken broth as a result, since I like my soups a little thicker. I also use my immersion blender to break up the corn and thicken it up a bit. And finally, I add a hefty dose of Tabasco sauce at the end. Really, we all know I'm not a huge spicy food fan, but this adds some nice heat at the end and a lot more flavor.

Oh and I also mix in a tablespoon or 2 of cornmeal to thicken it up just a smidge. The chowder will thicken a lot in the fridge, but just whisk it out before you reheat it. And I highly suggest you make enough for leftovers. This is goooood stuff (possibly even better) the next day.

Since this is an Ina recipe, it makes enough to feed a small army. I always halve the recipe, then freeze some of the leftovers. I am blogging the halved recipe that will feed 5 to 6 people.

And as Joey and I were eating, I commented that this would be soo good if you grilled the corn before cutting it off the cob. I think it would give it a really nice smoky flavor. So I will definitely be trying that next time.

Cheddar Corn Chowder
adapted from Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa
  • 4 ounces bacon, chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped (3 cups)
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon tumeric
  • 4 cups reduced sodium chicken stock
  • 5 cups corn kernels, or frozen (about 2 lbs)
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1/4 lb sharp white cheddar, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons corn meal
  • green onion, for garnish
Cook the bacon in a large stockpot over medium-high heat until crispy, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon and transfer it to a paper-towel lined plate. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onions and butter to the fat. Cook until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes.

Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, and turmeric and cook for 3 minutes. Add the corn and cook, stirring frequently, 3-5 minutes.

Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Add the half-and-half and using an immersion blender, blend the chowder in several spots to break up the corn. If you don't have an immersion blender, use a regular blender or food processor, but work in small batches and only puree about half to 2/3 of the soup.

Allow to simmer 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the cheese, Tabasco sauce, and cornmeal. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. If it is too spicy, add more half and half or chicken stock. Allow to cook an additional 5 minutes.

Serve hot with garnishes of bacon, extra cheddar, and green onion. Pass extra hot sauce with soup.


Jill Buker said...

Glad you enjoy this soup as much as I do. Thanks for cooking with me this week!

Yudith said...

I love the idea of grilling the corn before using, I have to keep that in mind! Yep, this made a ton--but we loved having leftover anyways ;-) Glad you enjoyed it.

Kate said...

Yours looks GREAT! I did use fire roasted corn (black tinged) and indeed it was smoky, and I also added some green chilis for bite. Your photo is beautiful.

Michelle said...

Josie, this looks great and I am going to try it. I am thinking though, if I use the potato (and I probably would!) would I need the corn meal as thickener? Potato does a nice job sometimes.

Also, I've made Beatty's chocolate cake so much this month, I think I could make it from memory at this point. It is seriously the best chocolate cake ever. I can't wait to see your photos.

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