Friday, June 4, 2010

Corn Chowder - My Way

It was a rainy day kind of night - not to be unexpected for us here in Meeeechingan, as my boyfriend says it. One of the things I hope to stress is that you don't need to go out and BUY ingredients every time you decide to cook something. Look at what you have on hand and use your recipe as a guideline. If you are new to cooking and don't feel comfortable adding your own spin just yet, that's totally fine. The point is to learn and to be creative.

I happened to have some BEA-utiful fresh corn in the fridge and had it set in my head that I was going to make corn chowder. Chowders are a new addition for me - I always thought they were too difficult for some reason. But really, they are super easy to make - just let the heat do the work for you. Here's my recipe (as modified from this recipe by Ina Garten).
What you need:
splash of olive oil (1-2Tbs)
1 large onion and 1 bunch of scallions, chopped
1 Tbs unsalted butter
1/4 cup flour
salt and pepper to taste - I start with a 1:2 ratio of salt to pepper
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
6 cups chicken stock (or 3 cups stock and 3 cups water)
6 Yukon Gold potatoes - you don't need to peel these, but chop them small so they cook faster
5 ears fresh corn, cut off the cob
4 Tbs cream cheese
2 Tbs cooking sherry
pinch paprika
1/2 cup sharp white cheddar cheese, grated ( I LOVE Australian cheddar, but more on this later)

What you do:
1) heat the oil over medium-high heat
2) add the onions and saute until the while onion pieces are translucent - then add the butter
3) add the flour and cook for about 3 minutes (lower the heat a little while you do this)
4) season with salt and pepper and turmeric
5) add potatoes and stock and cook until potatoes are tender - about 20 minutes (the chowder will be bubbling slightly and starting to thicken up)
6) add the sherry and other spices - NOT the cheddar (yet)
7) let the chowder acquire the right consistency before you add the cheese - you want it to be thick enough that it coats a spoon lightly; remember it will thicken while it cools, too
8)add the cheddar and serve!!!!

Tips from the Cook

~the butter/oil combo allows for the richness of butter flavor but the hot temperature of oil
~I like my corn crunchy so I don't blanch it before putting it in the chowder
~adding cream cheese (I use the 1/3 fat kind) is a lower calorie substitute for using loads of heavy cream - and it adds a tasty tang at the end)
~add more potatoes and stock if you want to stretch the recipe but don't have enough corn or cheese (potatoes make the dish taste more filling)


  1. What a great idea for you to start a food blog!! No pressure, but... could you post a recipe for baklava and/or those awesome chocolate rum balls?

    Can't wait to see everything you come up with :)


  2. Well, I am always up for suggestions. I will invite you over to taste-test, hmm?

  3. I must say, that is delicious corn chowder.