Be Proudah Yo Corn Chowdah

Corn season is winding down, so why not end it with a grand finale? This Creamy Corn Chowder is NOT one of those quick, get-it-done-in-15-minutes recipes. All said and done it’s going to takes nearly 3 hours to prep and cook, so take a page from my book and do the first two steps the night before—unless of course you have time on your hands… (and who the heck are you people anyway?)

It’s not necessarily diet-friendly either. But who says you have to shovel down a large bowlful? Enjoy a smaller amount (after all, it is filling), with a side salad for a complete meal—very French—all about pleasure. Eating is sensory, so eat with all five senses, and appreciate the little experiences of small portions and bites.

Fresno chiles are not the easiest to find, so the best substitute is a Jalapeño; and if you want to kick it up a notch use Serrano chiles (we incorporated 3 Serranos and the kick was barely discernible.) To make this vegetarian, just omit the bacon and replace with more shiitake mushrooms; sautéing them until they’re golden brown.

We both concurred, this was THE BEST corn chowder we’ve ever had! You’ll be dreaming about it until next corn season rolls around… Mmmmm… savor the flavor…

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Slice the corn right off the cob with a large, sharp chef’s knife.

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To catch errant kernels, use a rimmed baking sheet as you slice corn off the cob.

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To make broth, add 8 cups water, cobs, parmesan rinds, mushroom stems, bay leaf and thyme.

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After simmering for nearly an hour, drain the solids from the broth.

Ingredients

  • 8 ears of corn
  • 2 Parmesan rinds (about 4 ounces; optional)
  • 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and reserved, caps cut into ¼-inch pieces
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 4 ounces thick-cut bacon, cut into ¼-inch pieces
  • 1 pound russet potatoes, peeled, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium leek, white and pale-green parts only, quartered lengthwise, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 2 Fresno chiles, seeded, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon chopped marjoram
  • Chopped parsley and crushed oyster crackers (for serving)

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Heat butter in a large heavy pot, add corn kernels cook, stirring occasionally, until corn is tender and juices have evaporated and browned on the bottom of the pot.

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Add wine to pot and cook, scraping up browned bits, until liquid is syrupy.

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Cook bacon until golden brown and fat has rendered.

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Add potatoes, shallots, leek, garlic, and chopped mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables have softened.

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Add reserved broth, and cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are fork-tender; the chowder starts to thicken at this point.

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Next, add cream and corn mixture and cook, stirring, until chowder has thickened.

Directions

  1. Cut kernels from cobs and place in a large bowl. Place cobs in a medium pot and add Parmesan rinds, if using, mushroom stems, thyme, bay leaf, 2 tsp. salt, and 8 cups water.
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until broth is fragrant and reduced by half, 40–50 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl; discard solids and set broth aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 4 Tbsp. butter in a large heavy pot over medium-high. Add corn kernels, season generously with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until corn is tender and juices have evaporated and browned on the bottom of the pot, 12–15 minutes. Reserve ½ cup corn for serving; transfer remaining corn to a medium bowl.
  4. Add wine to pot and cook, scraping up browned bits, until liquid is syrupy, about 2 minutes. Scrape into bowl with remaining corn.
  5. Heat remaining 1 Tbsp. butter in same pot over medium and cook bacon until golden brown and fat has rendered, about 6 minutes. Add potatoes, shallots, leek, garlic, and chopped mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables have softened but haven’t taken on any color, 12–15 minutes.
  6. Add chiles and cook until fragrant and softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in flour and cook until nutty and fragrant, about 1 minute.
  7. Add reserved broth, bring to a boil, and cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are fork-tender, 10–15 minutes.
  8. Add cream and corn mixture and cook, stirring, until chowder has thickened, 5–10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in marjoram. Let sit 15 minutes before serving.
  9. Divide chowder among bowls. Top with parsley, oyster crackers, and reserved ½ cup corn; season with pepper.
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Recipe by Rick Martinez from Bon Appetit

 

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