Monday, August 16, 2010

Corn Chowder

Oh how we love sweet corn from the farm!

Once I tire of all those delicious cobs of fresh, sweet corn dripping with butter and salt it's time to add a little variation to the dining table. Corn salad? Corn salsa? Corn Chowder? Hmm. Time to find a recipe, but I need to keep it meat-free for my vegetarian friends.

I found a promising recipe on the New York Times website, and I gave it a read. Now, I was skeptical that I wouldn't like a chowder that banishes bacon and has a light touch of cream but this corn chowder is amazing! I grilled the corn first and I think that adds a nice touch. I also skipped the micro greens, and sprinkled scallions from my garden on top instead.

From the New York Times Diner's Journal:

Corn Chowder

Yield 4 servings

Time 1 1/2 hours

  • 2 onions, diced
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil
  • 6 ears of corn
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 sprigs micro greens, like pea shoots, for garnish.
  • 1. Using a sharp knife, cut the kernels off the ears of corn and set aside, reserving the cobs. In a large saucepan, combine the cobs, 1 of the diced onions, and 8 cups water.
  • Place over high heat to bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to steep for an additional 30 minutes.
  • 2. While the corncobs are steeping, place a large saucepan over medium-low heat, and add butter or olive oil. Add remaining diced onion and sauté until translucent and soft, about 20 minutes; do not allow to take on any color. Add corn kernels and sauté until slightly translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • 3. When the stock has finished steeping, strain it, discarding the cobs and onions. Add 6 cups to the pot of corn kernels; discard any remaining stock or reserve for another use. Return to medium heat and simmer until the corn is soft, about 2 minutes. Add heavy cream, reduce heat to low, and cook for 15 minutes.
  • 4. Remove half the soup and allow to cool until no longer steaming when stirred. Hot soup cannot be puréed in a blender, because the aeration makes the top blow off, and the hot soup spews all over. Working in batches, purée the soup in a blender until kernels are partly broken, or smooth, depending on your preference, then return to pot, reheating gently if necessary. Season with salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Divide among four bowls, and garnish with micro greens.

Source: Adapted from Patricia Williams, executive chef, Smoke Jazz & Supper Club-Lounge

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