Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Summer Corn Chowder
Aaaah...the first corn of summer...so sweet and crisp! I really think the best way to eat it is simply steamed with butter and salt, but why not mix things up a little and make some chowder? This meal came together in a flash. All of the ingredients were in season and I happened to have them on hand, which is necessary for the way I plan meals (I don't).
Most of the time I cook on the fly with what I've got in the pantry and fridge/freezer. Sometimes I think I'd love to change that habit and actually plan a week of meals, shop for that menu, and know exactly what to cook on which days. But that can be tough when you have an ever-changing schedule and kids going every which way. There is not always time to cook the meal you have planned. Belonging to a CSA also complicates a planned menu, because you don't know what you'll be getting from week to week. And so I'll continue as I have been...my huge aresenal of recipes comes in handy!
Removing corn from the cob can be tricky. I picked up this method somewhere along the way of teaching myself how to cook. No special gadgets needed (my drawer is way too full of gadgets!) First, you need a sharp knife. Then place a small bowl upside down into a large bowl and rest the bottom of the cob on the small bowl as in the photo above. This allows the corn kernels to be caught in the larger bowl without the bowl getting in the way of your knife. If you know of a better way to remove corn from the cob, I'd love to hear about it!
Summer Corn Chowder with Bacon
From Bon Apetit June 2004
6 slices bacon, chopped
6 cups fresh corn kernels(cut from 6 to 8 ears)
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh fennel bulb (can omit if desired)
1 cup diced yellow or green zucchini or crookneck squash (about 2)
1 cup 1/2-inch cubes peeled russet potatoes or unpeeled red potatoes
3 cups (or more) low-salt chicken broth
1/4 to 1/2 cup whipping cream
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Sauté bacon in large pot over medium-high heat until crisp and brown. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Add corn, fennel, zucchini, and potatoes to drippings in pot; sauté 5 minutes. Add 3 cups broth and simmer uncovered over medium heat until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Transfer 3 cups soup to blender. Holding blender top firmly, puree until smooth. Return puree to soup in pot. Stir in cream and cayenne. Bring chowder to simmer, thinning with more broth if too thick. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle chowder into bowls and sprinkle with bacon and chives.