OK, I’ll admit it – I’m a fanatic. That is – a corn fanatic. Who doesn’t like corn? Well, probably some people might not like it. Not me, though. I love, love, love corn! Let me say that again. I LOVE corn! I could eat corn all day, every day. I’d probably be sick after a while, but I could definitely do it. I could add corn to anything – soup, salad, salsa, stew, side dish, chili – anything, or just have the always delectable corn on the cob.
I may be quite late for fresh corn since we’re already in October, but I’m never late for corn chowder. Back home in Romania, I didn’t even know that you can make soup with corn. I’m so glad I know that now. I can’t believe I’d been oblivious to that fact until I discovered the chowder. And I’m not talking just about corn chowder, but any chowder for that matter – corn chowder, clam chowder, quahog chowder, Manhattan clam chowder…any chowder that comes to your mind. Now, I can’t have enough of it. I would say, though, that my favorite is Corn Chowder. That’s why I was so, so, so incredibly ecstatic when I discovered this recipe, by mistake.
I was cooking something one day (I really don’t remember what it was), and my TV was on the Food Network – by the way, my TV is always on the Food Channel or the Cooking Channel when I’m cooking. I knew Giada’s show was coming up, but The Neelys were up first. And all of the sudden I heard Corn Chowder. I was hooked. I dropped everything, turned off the stove, and started paying full attention – I was glued to the TV. While they were making it, I was already eating it with my eyes. I had to try it as soon as possible. Now, this corn chowder is a staple in my house, and, trust me, after you’ve made it once it might be one of your favorites, too.
Adapted from Gina’s Spicy Corn Chowder by The Neelys
· 4 Tablespoons vegetable oil
· 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
· 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
· Kosher salt and black pepper
· 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
· ¼ heaped cup all-purpose flour
· 4 cups chicken broth + 2 cups water
· 2-3 large red potatoes, well scrubbed and small diced
· 1 ¼ cups heavy cream
· 16 ounces frozen corn
· ¼ teaspoon paprika or cayenne pepper
· 1 bay leaf
Put a large pan on medium heat and add the oil. Add the onions and red pepper and season with salt and pepper. Sauté the vegetables until tender and translucent, about 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the flour until thoroughly combined. Cook the flour until it reaches a slight blonde color, about 1 minute. Stir in the chicken broth, the water and the potatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes; potatoes will become soft. Add the cream, corn, paprika (or cayenne) and bay leaf. Simmer for 20 more minutes.
I made the Corn Chowder again, last night. Who knew that every spoon-full of this creamy, rich, velvety, sweet, comforting soup can bring so much joy and warmth, and that you want more when you get to the bottom of the bowl? It was just the perfect warm and comforting soup on a cold and rainy night. I’m already looking forward to making it again, soon!