Corn, Corn and More Corn!
When the corn is “knee high by the Fourth of July” it seems that it will take forever before it is mature enough to pick. But now that we are at the end of the summer, fresh corn on the cob is available at every market. I love chomping through ears of corn and could easily work my way through a dozen ears myself! Sometimes however, my eyes are bigger than my appetite and I end up cooking more than we can consume in a single meal. I cut off the kernels and save them to toss with sautéed onion and peppers as a side dish. Other times I just add the kernels to salads, but as the late summer evenings get cooler, thoughts turn to a warming soup.
Corn chowder has always been one of our children’s favorite soups. It’s quick and easy to make - what takes the longest is peeling the potatoes and cooking them until they are just knife-tender. When you find yourself with a few extra ears of cooked corn, cut the kernels off the ears and put them in a Ziploc bag until you’re ready to add them to a late summer chowder to help chase the chill away.
½ pound bacon, diced
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
½ cup chopped celery
Extra virgin olive oil (optional)
2 tablespoons flour
1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, cut into cubes and cooked until tender
Kernels cut from 4 ears of cooked corn
4 cups milk (or a non-dairy milk such as “Rice Dream”)
Salt & pepper
Minced parsley and paprika to serve
Cook the bacon in a frying pan until crisp, remove and let drain on paper towels, reserving 3 tablespoons of the bacon grease in the pan.
Add the onion and celery to the pan (with additional olive oil, if necessary). Sauté until the vegetables are tender but not browned.
Remove the pan from the heat and sprinkle the flour over the sautéed vegetables. Stir to combine and make a roux by cooking over low heat until bubbly and light brown. This will help to thicken the chowder. You want to cook it enough to get rid of the raw flour flavor, but be very careful to not let the roux get dark or scorch.
Stir in the milk and simmer for two minutes, stirring constantly.
Add the potatoes, corn and reserved bacon and reheat until warmed throughout. Dress up the chowder by serving it with a sprinkle of minced parsley and a dash of paprika.