As corn season ends, we ramp our efforts to utilize those tasty kernels in as many ways as possible. Chowder is a fabulous fallback especially as the summer temps start to wane and crisp, cool nights creep in. This riff from Fine Cooking incorporates a poblano chili, with ours yielding a full cup, once chopped down.
When it comes to the broth, we used homemade chicken stock, which adds oodles of flavor by itself. If you don’t have any homemade on hand, jarred Better Than Bouillon is a decent brand for either chicken or vegetable broth.
While you could make this spicy take on corn chowder with frozen corn, it’s best with fresh. And since we prefer a kick, I added a healthy pinch of cayenne along with a generous squeeze of fresh lemon at the end.
1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
1 poblano, seeded and coarsely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 medium carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
1 medium rib celery, thinly sliced (about 1/3 cup)
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 cups lower-salt vegetable or chicken broth
1-1/2 cups whole milk
1 medium red potato (about 8 oz.), cut into 1/2-inch chunks
2 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 3 cobs)
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Cayenne, to taste
Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven or similar pot over medium heat. Add the onion, poblano, carrot, celery, coriander, cumin, thyme, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 6 minutes.
Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables, and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds.
Stir in the tomato paste, and then add the broth and milk. Add the potatoes and corn, and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Cover, reduce to a low simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potato is tender, about 15 minutes.
Using a potato masher, slightly mash the vegetables in the pot to thicken the chowder to your desired consistency.
Add the lemon juice, and season to taste with cayenne, salt, and pepper.
Because of the abundance of fresh produce in mid- to late-summer, we find ourselves gravitating to certain vegetables which have a limited growing season, one being sweet corn on the cob. It finds its way to our dinner table often as a side dish: hot, buttered and eaten right off the cob. But occasionally, we want to make it the star of the show, such as in this Smoky, Sweet Corn Chowder recipe. And September is synonymous with THE BEST, when corn reigns king.
Using corn sliced right off the cob, diced potatoes and veggies this easy chowderis finished with a bit of cream, a skosh of white wine and crispy bacon crumbles. Don’t throw the cobs away after removing the kernels, instead, add them to the broth to get even more of their milky goodness into the chowder.
We changed things up a bit, no surprise there. The original recipe called for 5 cups of water. Since we had some homemade ham stock in the freezer, we substituted that (and upped the quantity by 1 cup) for the water which of course adds tons of flavor. Then, figuring we would get more taste and substance from andouille sausage than ham hocks we made that switcharoo too.
Lastly, our bicolored ears of corn were not large so I added 6 ears worth, after all, it is the star of the show here. Because it all comes together fairly quickly when the cooking starts, prep the vegetables for the chowder before you begin cooking. All the chopping—that’s the most time-intensive part of the process. But oh so worth it, because corn reigns supreme and is crowned the king in this recipe.