Fresh Sweet Corn Chowder
This drool-inducing recipe comes from the book "Savoring the Seasons" by Beth Dooley and Lucia Watson. It will serve 8-10.
"We make this creamy chowder when the corn is so fresh and sweet that the farmers at the market give samples to eat just off the cob. It really doesn't need to be cooked. If using fresh corn on the cob, scrape off and reserve the kernels, then add the cobs to the stock. Just before serving, remove the cobs and add the corn kernels. Garnish with bit of BACON (I added the caps, and it stays) and freshly chopped parsley."
Note: this dish can be made vegetarian-friendly by subbing veggie stock for the chicken stock, and *sniff* omitting the bacon. A pinch or two of smoked Spanish paprika will make both vegetarians and meat-eaters smile. On the carnivore side of things, if you are lucky enough to have access to freshly cooked lobster or crab, tossing one or the other in at the very end (just enough to warm through) really makes the chow-dah special. Put your own stamp on this recipe!
4 ounces bacon
1 large onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 pint homemade chicken stock or low-salt canned broth
1 bay leaf
1 pint whole milk
1/2 green bell pepper, cored, deveined, seeded and chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, cored, deveined, seeded and chopped
4-5 ears fresh sweet corn, shucked, with corn kernels cut from the cob (about 3 cups kernels)--save the cobs to enrich the stock
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
"In a large suacepan, saute the bacon until crisp, but be careful not to burn it. Remove, drain on paper towels, and chop. Add the onion and celery to the pan and saute in the bacon fat until soft. Sprinkle with flour and cook, stirring for about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the potatoes, chicken stock, and bay leaf (and corn cobs if you are using them), and bring the mixture to a boil; then reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes. Remove the corn cobs, add the milk, and be careful not to let the soup boil again, since it might separate. Stir in the chopped red and green peppers, corn kernels, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Serve garnished with the bacon and chopped fresh parsley."