While you can still get fresh corn pretty easily, now is the time to make some super simple corn chowder. The other day, I bought a dozen ears of corn thinking that my children would polish them off for dinner. Oddly enough, I did not have a lot of takers that night and ended up with about 7 or 8 ears left over. As I headed to work on Monday and quickly surveyed my refrigerator, I knew that I could whip up a simple chowder for dinner after work with minimal fuss.
Corn chowder has been an easy family meal in my house since I can remember. My college roommate still mentions it on my facebook wall every once in a while! She couldn’t believe that something so tasty was really that easy to make. I learned how to make corn chowder from my dad and, even if you fool around with the recipe a little bit, it’s really hard to mess it up.
|Delicious North Carolina Corn …
2 slices bacon, chopped
1 or 2 tablespoons butter
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite-sized chunks
6 ears of corn, kernels removed
2 cups water
1 cup milk or half & half
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
1.Cook the chopped bacon in a heavy bottomed pan. Remove the bacon but not the drippings. Set aside.
2. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan. Add the onion and garlic and cook over medium heat until the onion is translucent.
3. Add the chopped potatoes. Stir to combine all the ingredients and add season with salt and pepper.
4. Add the bay leaf, corn kernels, water, and milk. Heat over medium heat – don’t let it come to a boil.
5. Let it simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes until the potatoes are soft. Taste test for flavor … add more salt and pepper if necessary.
|Our littlest chowder fan …
6. Serve in individual bowls and sprinkle with crumbled bacon.
To remove the kernels from the corn … I just use a sharp knife and scrape down one side at a time. There are fancy tools out there, but I have never tested them out! If you have extra corn on hand, scrape off the kernels and put them in freezer bags so you can make fresh corn chowder all winter long! You could also substitute frozen corn kernels for fresh – 2 ears of corn equals about 1 cup for measuring purposes.
Water vs. Broth … You can substitute vegetable broth for water for a little extra flavor, but water will do just fine. If you have leftovers, store it in the fridge or freezer and then add more milk to thin it out when you reheat it in a saucepan on the stove. Just be careful not to let it come to a boil! If you let this soup boil, you will end up with a pretty gross “skin” on the surface of the soup because it is made with milk!