Sunday, October 28, 2012

Corn Chowder

Award Prize Winning
Corn Chowder

I made this Corn Chowder in September to enter into a Chowder Contest. I did not win 1st but won 2nd place. Everyone else had clam chowder, but I am not a fan of clam chowder, so I made this and won two sweatshirts from the local campground! Enjoy.

  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 strip of bacon or 1 teaspoon of bacon fat (substitute 1/2 Tbsp of butter for vegetarian option)
  • 1.5 large yellow onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  •  2 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 3 large carrot, chopped (about 1/3 cup)
  • 2 celery stalk, chopped (about 1/3 cup)
  • 3 Cans of sweet corn
  • 2 Ham Steaks Chopped into Bite size peices (optional)
  • 6 Chrispy Peices of Cooked Bacon (optional)
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 5 1/2 cups milk, whole or low fat
  • 5 medium Yukon Gold potato, or Russet, peeled and diced
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

Method

1 In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the bacon strip (skip this step for vegetarian option, just add more butter) and fry until the bacon renders its fat, but doesn't begin to brown, 3 or 4 minutes. Add the onion and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, until soft. Add the carrot and celery and cook for 4 or 5 more minutes.

2    Add the milk,  cornstarch and bay leaf. Whisk and bring to a boil and reduce heat to a bare simmer. Cover the pot and cook for 30 minutes. Make sure the heat is as low as can be and still maintain a gentle simmer (on our stove we had to use the "warm" setting) to prevent scalding the milk on the bottom of the pan.

3 Discard the bacon strip, and the bay leaf. Raise the heat, add the potatoes, red pepper, 1 teaspoon of salt, fresh ground pepper to taste, bring to a simmer and reduce the heat to maintain a simmer for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are almost fork tender.

4 Raise the heat add Chopped Up Ham Steak and Canned Corn and the thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes.

Serves 6 (freezes well for 3 months)