Wednesday, September 12, 2012

corn chowder.

The last few nights I’ve slept like a baby.  Curled up under my blankets with the windows open and a cool breeze passing through the bedroom has me sleeping soundly.  The arrival of September always signifies the beginning of my favorite time of year.  I love the reemergence of sweaters and jeans and the swapping of flip-flops and sandals for loafers and boots but what I love most is returning to the kitchen to cook comfort foods.  There is something nice about spending my weekends simmering stews or baking fresh bread that makes me utterly happy but I get most excited about cooking soup.  I have a long held love affair with soup – it warms your insides up, every ingredient works well in soup, and it’s filling and easy.  This corn chowder is about as simple as it gets and it comes together in under 40 minutes!  All of the ingredients can be picked up from the farmers market (except for a few pantry staples) and it doesn’t even require chicken broth!  I enjoyed a big bowl of it accompanied with a grilled cheese sandwich – comfort food doesn’t get much better then that. 

Corn Chowder
Recipe, adapted from Mark Bittman

This can be altered any number of ways.  If you prefer peppers to tomatoes you can swap them.  Like a simpler version, omit my spice choices.  I urge you to play around, but my version below is an excellent starting point. 

4 ears of corn
1 tablespoon butter or oil or bacon grease
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon smoked spicy paprika (or regular paprika)
4 plum tomatoes, diced
1 cup milk (I used half skim half cream)
Chives to garnish

Shuck corn, and use a pairing knife to strip kernels into a bowl.  Put cobs in a pot with 5- 6 cups of water; bring to a boil, cover, and simmer while you continue. 

Put butter, oil, or grease in a saucepan, and turn heat to medium-high.  When butter melts or oil is hot, add onion and potatoes, along with a sprinkling of salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion softens, about 5 minutes; add tomatoes and cook, stirring, for another minute or two. 

After corncobs have cooked at least 10 minutes, strain liquid into onion-potato mixture and stir in paprika.  Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer.  When potatoes are tender, add corn kernels and milk, and heat through.  Taste, and adjust seasonings.  Garnish with chives and serve. 

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