Taking the House by Storm

The trials and tribulations of the average gal trying to navigate through life, love and the pursuit of domestic bliss.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Corn Chowder

One of the many perks of being married to my DH is fresh corn every summer. His step-father's family farm and grow the most delicious corn you've ever had in your life. I believe it's called bodacious. I've only had the privilege of helping "put up" corn once in my life, about three years ago. It's a full day of picking (my step-father-in-law generally does all of that), shucking, silking, blanching, icing, cutting it off the cob, bagging and burping it.

It was a lot of fun, a lot of work, and sometimes the grossest thing I've ever done. I'll never forget opening up one ear of corn that was completely engulfed in the blackest, fuzziest mold I've ever seen. The occasional worms didn't bother me nearly as much as that did.

Today, we spent a lazy Sunday afternoon up at the in-laws pool, right next door to one of their corn fields. So right before we left, I picked about 12 ears. It was my first time picking them myself, but my brother-in-law, Scott, gave me this guideline, passed on from my step-father-in-law, Fred: If it's soft, it's not ready. It should feel like a hard-on.

Nice. And to me, it all felt pretty, well, firm. So I wasn't sure what I'd get when we got home. Turns out I'm a pretty decent picker. I had to cut a bug or two out of the tops, but the corn itself was delicious in this restaurant-quality Corn Chowder recipe I got from Tyler Florence on FoodNetwork.com.

Since we don't have any fresh herbs (my garden is pretty much a wash this year), I decided to leave them out and add my own flare as well as take some inspiration from a few reviews. Below is the recipe, or you can click on the link above for the original. Here's what I did differently: skipped the parsley and thyme, added some diced carrots (we had a few left in a 5 lb. bag I got at Costco – never again. I'm glad to finally be rid of them), a few dashes of both Tabasco and red pepper flakes, and about 1/8 tsp. of cayenne. Yummy!


* 2 tablespoons butter
* Extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 onion, diced
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
* 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 6 cups canned vegetable stock
* 2 cups heavy cream
* 2 Idaho potatoes, peeled and diced
* 6 ears corn
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves


Heat the butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and thyme and cook until the vegetables are good and soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Dust the vegetables with flour and stir to coat everything well. Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Add the cream and the potatoes, bring to a boil and boil hard for about 7 minutes, until the potatoes break down (this will help to thicken the soup and give it a good texture).

Cut the corn kernels off the cob and add to the soup. Season with salt and pepper and simmer until the corn is soft, about 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the parsley and give it another little drink of olive oil. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.


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