Thursday, February 2, 2012

Customized Corn Chowder

Well hello there!  No, I haven't been lost -- except to say lost in reading other peoples' blogs.  It's been a month already since we last visited, so please forgive my laziness in keeping in touch.  This post has been on my mind for a couple of weeks, but I hadn't uploaded the photos to my laptop yet.  I finally got around to hooking my camera up tonight to get that done.

'Ol Blue Eyes used to sing "I Did It My Way," and that's exactly what I did with a recipe from one of my favorite websites,  If you're already familiar with that site, you'll know that I'm not the first to adapt one of the recipes posted there. A quick read of any of the recipe's reviews, will quickly tell you how often "to each his own" comes into play. So, I'm not feeling a bit guilty about adapting one of the recipes I found when I was searching for a keeper a few weeks ago.  I came home from work one evening thinking that a good, hearty soup would be just what I needed for supper. I have to tell you, I have a gazillion recipe books, and I think I inherited all of my grandmother's "hard copy" recipes, but it's just so easy to turn on my trusty laptop and punch up a recipe to fit the craving de jour. That said, I still go back to the old faithfuls from Mom and Grandma quite frequently.

I had never made corn chowder before, so I decided to try it. Unfortunately, most all of the corn chowder recipes I found called for cream-style corn.  I'm just not a big fan of creamed corn -- at least not that which comes from a can. I prefer savory vs. sweet when I have my main course, and creamed corn is a little too sweet for my liking.  So, that's where the adaptation began.  I also remembered that I had some chicken stock in my freezer, so I substituted that in place of the water which the original recipe called for. To top it off (pun intended), I topped it off with the Pièce de résistance, a sprinkle of Parmesan.  Here's how it all played out:

1 large onion chopped
1/2 cup butter
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
3 cups frozen corn
4 cups diced potatoes (about 2 large baking size)
3/4 cup half & half (or milk if you prefer)
Salt to taste (my chicken stock was already seasoned, so I only used about 1/2 tsp.)
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
Parmesan cheese to taste

In a Dutch oven, saute the chopped onion in butter until the onion is almost clear.

Next, add the chicken stock, corn and potatoes, and bring it all to a boil.  Reduce the heat, and cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are just cooked through.

Then stir in the half & half and ...

... the salt and pepper.  As you can see, I eyeballed the pepper measurement.  Why drag out measuring spoons, right?  Of course right!

Continue cooking the chowder for another 5-10 minutes so that it is once again heated through -- nice and hot for a cold winter evening.  Make sure to stir it from time-to-time.

Ladle the chowder into oven-proof bowls, sprinkle the top with Parmesan cheese, and put the bowl under the broiler until the cheese is toasty brown.

Carefully remove the bowl from the oven and ...


Next time I think I'll add some pre-cooked chicken to make it even heartier.

I'll be interested to know if you try it.  If you do, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know how it turned out for you.

Happy February!  Thanks for stopping by!

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