Thursday, April 25, 2013

Corn Chowder

I lost it today. I mean really, embarrassed-to-admit-just-how-much I lost it.  It started 2 weeks ago with me sending 3 emails and leaving 3 messages with no action (and I was the "customer" in this situation) and I had had enough. I became the squeaky wheel (although the person on the other end of the line might characterize what I was a bit differently).  I don't actually like squeaky wheels – call ‘em whiners. It annoys me how "everyone" caters to squeaky wheels.  I really try not to be the squeaky wheel; there are other ways to achieve the same result. Until the situation necessitates that you become the squeaky wheel and suddenly things happen. Issues get resolved. I'm pretty sure this person did what I asked just to get me off the phone.  It's a little Pavlovian. I see how things got done when I was the squeaky wheel. Why would I ever be nice again?

There’s been a bit of a cold snap in Texas which means the opportunity for another soup recipe.  This is a merging of chowders from Barefoot Contessa, Paula Dean, Ree Drummond and Tyler Florence.

Corn Chowder
1.      4-6 slices of bacon, chopped
2.      1 chopped yellow onion
3.      4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
4.      1/4 cup flour
5.      2 tsp kosher salt
6.      1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
7.      6 cups chicken stock
8.      2 russet potatoes (about 2 c), peeled, medium-diced
9.  6 c corn kernels, fresh (6 ears) or frozen (2 – 16 oz bags)
10.  2 c half-and-half
11.  1/2 pound (about 2 c) sharp white cheddar cheese, grated

In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until the bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions and butter to the fat, and cook for 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent.
Stir in the flour, salt and pepper and cook for 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and potatoes, bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. If using fresh corn, cut the kernels off the cob and blanch them for 3 minutes in boiling salted water. Drain. (If using frozen corn you can skip this step.) Add the corn to the soup, then add the half-and-half and cheddar. Cook for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is melted. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Serve hot with a garnish of bacon.

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