Once the weather started to turn cold, I began wanting a good cup of chowder. I found this recipe by Ree Drummond and taunted myself with it until I finally tried a pot. Honestly, I was initially disappointed. It was nice and crisp, just not necessarily brag worthy. However, after it chilled in the refrigerator for a few days, I went back for another cup and YES….I was reminded that some soups just need to chill for a while. The crunch of the fresh corn laced with its own sweetness and the lingering spice of the peppers and adobo sauce made for a very nice chowder…..a bit creamy but light enough to not ruin your week! This is a great dish to prepare on Sunday to heat up later!
What you’ll need:
5 ears of fresh corn, shucked
4 slices of bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 medium sweet onion, diced
2-3 whole chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely diced
4 cups (1 quart) chicken broth
1 & 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
one 4-ounce can diced green chiles
3 tablespoons cornmeal
Salt and pepper
To start, use a sharp knife and slice the kernels from the cob. Don’t be intimidated by this. Other than cleaning up the mess I made, it literally took me 3 minutes. Cut the end off a cob so that you have a flat surface to stabilize against your cutting board. Run your sharp blade down, rotating the cob until it is bare. No big deal. Word to the wise: Fresh corn is cheap. I purchased 5 for $1. Always pick up extra because you never know what lurks behind those husks until you remove them.
Heat a dutch oven to medium heat and add the sliced bacon. Cook until almost crispy. Add the diced onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. You can drizzle with olive oil if needed, pending how much grease is produced by the bacon.
Next, throw in the corn kernels and stir them around. Add the diced chipotle peppers. I pulled out 2 and 1/2 pieces from the can…I may use more next time. Just be sure to dice them up into little pieces before adding them.
Pour in the chicken broth and add a healthy splash of cream……that means at least a cup, maybe more. If you’re waist conscious, dilute it with a little bit of skim milk. Add the can of green chiles and simmer for 30 minutes or more.
Mix together the cornmeal and 1/4 cup water. Add this to the soup mixture and stir around and let simmer for 12-15 minutes to thicken. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Let stand for a while and serve. I like to add some chopped green onions and a dollop of sour cream. Monterey jack cheese is nice too….and tortilla chips! Note: All good soups get better with age so I suggest letting this beauty rest in the refrigerator for a day or two and then quickly heat and serve on a cold and busy night during the week. I hope you enjoy!