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La Belle Cuisine - More Soup Recipes

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Jasper White's Corn Chowder



 Stonewall Kitchen, LLC

“Chowder breathes reassurance. It steams consolation.”
~ Clementine Paddleford

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La Belle Cuisine


Corn Chowder

50 Chowders:
One Pot Meals - Clam,
Corn and Beyond

by Jasper White, August 2000,
Simon & Schuster Trade

Makes about 7 cups; serves 6 as a first course

"Corn chowder is the king of farmhouse chowders. Hundreds of recipes for it
have been published over the years, but since corn and salt pork were staples
of the American farm, it is likely that corn chowder was being made and
enjoyed long before any recipe was ever printed. ...
My version of corn chowder is made similar to the Shaker style, according
to a recipe from the Shakers at Hancock Village in Pittsfield, Massachusetts
(1900) using fresh corn, butter and cream. Its mellow, sweet flavor and lovely
pale golden color are very comforting, and it is a big favorite with children
as well as adults."

For equipment, you will need a 3-to 4-quart heavy pot with a lid,
a wood spoon and a ladle.

3 medium ears fresh yellow or bicolor corn
4 ounces slab (unsliced) bacon, rind
removed and cut into 1/3-inch dice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion (7 to 8 ounces),
cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/2 large red bell pepper (6 to 8 ounces),
cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 to 2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed
and chopped (1/2 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
1 pound Yukon Gold, Maine, PEI or
other all-purpose potatoes, peeled
and cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 cups chicken stock or chicken broth
Kosher or sea salt and freshly
ground black pepper
2 teaspoons cornstarch, dissolved
in 2 tablespoons water
1 cup heavy cream
For garnish: 2 tablespoons
minced fresh chives or
thinly sliced scallions

1. Husk the corn. Carefully remove most of the silk by hand and then
rub the ears with a towel to finish the job. Cut the kernels from the
cobs and place in a bowl. You should have about 2 cups. Using the
back of your knife, scrape down the cobs and add the milky sub-
stance that oozes out to the corn kernels.
2. Heat a 3-to 4-quart heavy pot over low heat and add the diced bacon.
Once it has rendered a few tablespoons of fat, increase the heat to
medium and cook until the bacon is crisp and golden brown. Pour
off all but one tablespoon of the bacon fat, leaving the bacon in
the pot.
3. Add the butter, onion, bell pepper, thyme, cumin, and turmeric and
sauté, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, for about 8
minutes, until the onion and pepper are tender but not browned.
4. Add the corn kernels, potatoes and stock, turn up the heat, cover,
and boil vigorously for about 10 minutes. Some of the potatoes
will have broken up, but most should retain their shape. Use the
back of your spoon to smash a bit of the corn and potatoes against
the side of the pot. Reduce the heat to medium and season the
chowder with salt and pepper.
5. Stir the cornstarch mixture and slowly pour it into the pot, stirring constantly. As soon as the chowder has come back to a boil and
thickened slightly, remove from the heat and stir in the cream.
Adjust the seasoning if necessary. If you are not serving the
chowder within the hour, let it cool a bit, then refrigerate; cover
the chowder AFTER it has chilled completely. Otherwise, let it
sit at room temperature for up to an hour, allowing the flavors
to meld.
6. When ready to serve, reheat the chowder over low heat; don't
let it boil. Ladle into cups or bowls and sprinkle with the
chopped chives.

Featured Archive Recipes:
Corn Chowder: The All-American Summer Soup
Creole Oyster Chowder with Green Onion Butter
Fish Chowder with Herbed Oyster Crackers
Smoked Salmon and Corn Chowder
Southern-Style Corn Chowder
Sweet Corn and Shrimp Chowder
(Charlie Trotter)

The Corn is as high as an elephant's eye... 

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