Oct 13, 2013

Last Harvest Corn Chowder

My friend grew corn at her ranch again this year. I don't know the variety, but I can tell you that it was the sweetest corn I've ever tasted.  It was so good that you could eat it off the cob, standing right there in the field if you wanted to. It tasted like candy.

We had several corn-on-the-cob feasts this summer.  My friend created a tequila-lime butter that we coated the hot corn in.  We sounded like a pack of wild animals while chewing on those cobs.

I took some corn home too, and messed around with corn fritter recipes and then settled into a pot of corn chowder that I wish had been triple the size so I'd have some in the freezer to take out and eat now.  I don't even know if chowder freezes well.  I'd have tried it though.

When I make soup, I toss a handfull of this and that in the pot, and hope for the best.  If you've noticed the few recipes I post here, they are very easy.  I'd love to be a Martha - but I'm more of a simple Sally.

I'll try and lay out this chowder recipe - as best as I can describe it.  I do hope you have put away some farm fresh corn from your local grower, but even if you don't have a freezer full of little bags of corn, a can will do in a pinch.  Or check your farmers market - I was at mine yesterday and saw some late harvest corn still for sale.

Late Harvest Corn Chowder

3 cups chicken or veggie stock                            3 slices bacon
1 small can coconut milk                                     3 large potatoes
1 cup heavy cream                                             1 large sweet onion
1 tbsp oil or butter                                              1.5-2 cups corn
1-2 tbsp flour and butter for roux                           (Added veggies to your liking - see below)
Salt, pepper, thyme - season as you like

In a stock pot, cook bacon until done, but not too crispy, and set aside.
Pour off bacon fat except one teaspoon.
Add one tablespoon of butter or oil to the bacon fat in the pot and cook onions until transparent.
Add chicken stock, potatoes, corn, and any other veggies you like in a chowder.  I added one small sweet potato (not a yam) and several sweet, golden beets.  I also added a small amount of salt, pepper and thyme here - but I perfect the seasoning at the end of a soup - so I kept my seasoning here at a minimum.
I add the bacon back at this point, ripped into small pieces.  Some folks add the bacon at the end, but I like it to infuse into the chowder for a longer period of time.
Add coconut milk.  It will appear to separate, but don't be concerned - it blends beautifully as the soup cooks.

Slowly bring to a boil and then lower the temp and let simmer for 10-20 minutes until potatoes are tender.

Add the cream and continue to simmer until the soup thickens.  You can omit the cream and thicken in one of the ways listed below too.

At this point, there are a few ways to thicken your chowder.  Some folks just add flour or cornmeal, but I'm not a fan of that method.  I prefer to cool down the soup a bit, and then blend a few cups of it in a blender and then add that back to the pot.

If the chowder is still not thick enough, I make a small amount of roux.  I take one or two tablespoons of flour (I used coconut flour this time and it worked perfectly) and the same amount of butter and mixed it and toasted it in a frying pan for 5-10 minutes on low heat (just until it starts to smell a bit warm and nutty.)  I added this to the soup and brought the soup temperature back up (not to a boil) and it thickened nicely.

And that's it.  You're done.  Season as you like.  Salt, pepper, thyme, and a nice teaspoon of tandoori spice is what I added to mine.  I like a bit of warmth to my soup, so the tandoori spice was a must for me.  I cheat, and buy it from Epicure, but you can make your own mix.

A happy and hearty feast to you!


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Sounds delish! And Epicure rocks. We use some of their products too. Happy Thanksgiving to you, Rue!

jaz@octoberfarm said...

i love corn chowder! a good tip for making it is to cook the corn first and strip it from the cob. add the cobs to your water or stock and cook them for a while. remove the cobs and you have the best stock as a base for your chowder.

Rue said...

Thanks for the info - I will definitely do that next time! You've got the best cooking tips!

Linda Wildenstein said...

This recipe sounds yummy. We have lots of corn in the freezer and I'm gonna give this chowder a try. Thanks for sharing. Oma Linda

Tammie Lee said...

sounds as though you had a wonderful time with corn this summer. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

mxtodis123 said...

Do you know I have never had corn chowder? How can anyone go 66 years without trying it? Thanks for the recipe. When hubby is able to eat more solid foods I will try it.

Jessica Cangiano said...

It's so wonderful that comfort food season is upon us again. I love that as the mercury drops, my heavy stock pots come into rotation again, bubbling and boiling up delicious dishes such as this wonderful sounding corn chowder (love the addition of coconut milk, I've been making a lot of my pumpkin soups with that lately, too). Thank you for sharing this lovely dish with us, dear Rue. It's going on the post-Thanksgiving menu right away.

Have a serene, blessed holiday,
♥ Jessica

Mary Bergfeld said...

This really sounds delicious! We love soups and chowders and this would fit right into my fall menus. I hope you have a great week. Blessings...Mary

Danni said...

I love corn chowder and our recipes are so very similar! I've never used coconut milk and cream though, I usually just use whole milk. I'll give it a shot your way! :)