Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sweet End of the Summer Sunshine

This time of year corn on the cob just beckons me, because I know it will soon be gone. I find myself buying it every time I see it, even if it doesn’t fit into my menu plans. So far the best corn I’ve had all season has come from Hart Farm in Dennisport, but the Hubby found some corn at Stop and Shop in Yarmouth (of all places) that was so unbelievably sweet I could have eaten it raw.

Corn that wonderful needed a great recipe. Luckily, I just got a copy of Cook’s Illustrated American Classics and there was a recipe for fresh corn chowder I was dying to try. I love corn chowder and I was intrigued by the recipe. Of course, I changed things up a little to reflect my preferences. For example, I prefer bacon to salt pork and I used 2% milk and light cream instead of whole milk and heavy cream.

The recipe also tested ways to save some of this season’s corn to make chowder in the wintertime when it will be especially welcome. The best method for preserving the fresh taste of corn, according to the tester at Cook's is to blanch the whole ears for five minutes and then shock them in a cold water bath and spread the ears on a clean towel to dry. When fuly dry put the corn into a zip lock bag, press out the air and seal the bag. Date and freeze. When you want to prepare the recipe, cook the corn for two to three minutes instead of ten minutes.

Voila, the fresh taste of summer on a cold winter day!

The Recipe

Fresh Corn Chowder

8 medium ears of corn, husks and silks removed
5 slices of bacon, diced
1 tablespoon butter
1 large Vidalia onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced fine
3 tablespoons flour
3 cups organic chicken broth
2 cups red skin potatoes, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
2 cups 2% milk
1 cup light cream
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground cracked pepper

Stand corn on end in a bowl and cut kernels from four ears of corn. Set aside. Grate kernels on box grater from remaining four ears of corn and put in separate bowl. Firmly scrape any pulp remaining from all 8 cobs into same bowl as grated corn.

Cook bacon in Dutch oven over medium high heat until fat is rendered and bacon is almost crisp. Remove bacon bits with metal slotted spoon and drain on plate lined with paper towel. Add butter to pan and melt. Add onions and cook over low heat until tender. Add garlic and cook two more minutes. Stir in flour and cook two minutes, stirring constantly. Whisking constantly, slowly add chicken broth.

Add potato, bay leaf, thyme, milk, grated corn and pulp, and half of reserved bacon. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium low and simmer until potatoes are almost tender, about 8 – 10 minutes.

Add reserved corn kernels and cream and return to simmer. Simmer about five minutes until corn kernels are tender, but still slightly crunchy. Stir in parsley, salt, pepper and remaining bacon. Remove bay leaf and serve immediately.


Meg said...

My husband loves corn chowder. I will have to try this recipe for him.

The Mediocre Cook said...

I've really wanted to try and make this chowder because it looks so good!

Andrea said...

This recipe is perfect for all the corn that just hit the farmers market. Looks great!

Laurie said...

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