Monday, September 7, 2009

Yummy Corn Chowder and a Some New Ingredients to Consider….

I can’t believe our next Safe & Sound Dinner is right around the corner, Rosalia from DaLuciano’s has been planning for our big family style feast (3 appetizers, soup, pasta, 2 entrees and 3 desserts!) and our gift bags are overflowing, make sure you buy your tickets before space fills up!

This recipe is from one of my favorite blogs I wrote about last week, The Whole Kitchen , I made some modifications to this recipe based on what I had in the house and something to add a different flavor. Jenn got this recipe from another blogger adding her own touches, it’s amazing how easily adaptable this delicious recipe is.

Before we get started I want to share with you a pepper I learned about from Mark Mendez, Executive Chef at Carnivale - the Shishito pepper. This Japanese pepper, is difficult to find, but if you find it, grab some, take them home and saute them whole in olive oil with a little salt and pepper and you will have a tasty treat you can’t stop eating, Jay’s watch out! No matter how large a plate I make of these peppers, it always empties quickly. Green Acres farm sells these at the Green City Market on Wednesday and Saturdays and can also be found in Evanston on Saturdays if you can catch them, they sell out fast.

I purchased the ingredients for our corn chowder at the Green City Market, there is so much more flavor in these freshly picked items than their grocery store counterparts. I also picked up some fresh tomatillos and can’t wait to share a recipe using these from a fellow student at the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago in my next post.

Corn & Bacon Chowder
Serves 6

5 slices bacon, diced
1 large onion, diced
5 celery stalks, diced
3 medium potatoes, cubed
½ teaspoon thyme
½ teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ cup celery leaves, minced (optional)
3 tablespoons all purpose GF flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
¼ cup white wine
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup water
4 ears corn, kernels cut off cob, reserve 2 cobs

Chives, minced
Reserved bacon crumbles
Tomato, diced

Heat large stock pot over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat another minute.
Saute bacon until crispy, be careful not to burn, remove from pot and reserve.
Drain excess bacon grease and leave about 1-2 tablespoons in pot.
Add onion and celery and cook until soft, onions will become translucent.
Add potatoes and cook until soft.
Add thyme, oregano, basil, paprika, cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper and celery leaves to pan and thoroughly incorporate.
Reduce heat to low and sprinkle GF flour over mixture and mix thoroughly.
You want to cook the flour for about 5 minutes to remove flour taste.

French cooking terms – you will notice that at the bottom of the pan some remnants of the items you just cooked are forming at the bottom of the pan, in French cooking this is called suc or fond and you want to have these bits in your dish, not sticking to the bottom of the pan, so the process to loosen these bits is called deglazing and you can do it with any acid based ingredient (vinegar, lemon/orange/lime juice, or tomato or wine). For our chowder, we are going to use white wine.

Push vegetables to side of pot and add wine, you will notice as you stir the ingredients the fond will start to loosen from the bottom and add wonderful flavor to your dish.
Reduce the wine au sec (almost dry) and then add chicken stock and water.
Add 3/4 of the bacon to pot (reserve ¼ for garnish)
Stir in corn kernels and reserved cobs. The cob is filled with flavor.
Increase heat and bring chowder to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook covered for 30 minutes.
Taste and add salt to taste.
Remove cobs before serving and top with garnishes, enjoy!


Jenn Sutherland said...

Oooh, I love your modifications! Thanks for the blog love, too. I'll definitely look for those peppers at the market this Saturday as well. Thanks for the tip!

Lisa Cooks Allergen Free said...

Jenn - your blog is easy to give love to, YUM!

Rachel@AllergenFreePlease said...

This sounds delicious!

Jenn Sutherland said...

I found some of the Shishito peppers at the market this morning, and plan to saute some up for lunch - thanks for the tip!

Lisa Cooks Allergen Free said...

Hey Jenn,
What did you think of the Shishitos?