Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Corn Chowder

1/2 C chopped onion  (finely minced)
4-6 strips of bacon
2 lg. baking potatoes
4 cups frozen sweet corn (divided)  If you don't have an immersion blender substitute one can of cream style corn.
4 C. chicken broth (divided)
1 1/2 C milk or half and half  (I often use 3/4 C. milk & 3/4 C. heavy cream.  This makes it very rich!)
1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
Salt and Pepper to taste

Fry bacon until cooked but not crispy in a large dutch oven.  Add onion and saute until clear. Remove onion and bacon from pan and drain off fat.  Meanwhile dice potatoes (I leave the skin on.) and boil in  2 C.chicken broth or water until almost tender (don't completely cook as potatoes will continue to cook after added to the chowder) .
Place 2 cups frozen corn in dutch oven with 1C. of chicken broth .(If using cream style corn add only 1 cup frozen corn plus 1 can cream style corn)  Add milk. Slowly bring to a simmer and then reduce heat.  Add about half of the semi cooked potatoes.   Using an immersion blender puree the corn mixture.  (You can puree in a blender. Place the blender cover on LOOSELY.  Put a towel over the top of the blender (If you put the top on the blender too tightly  the heat will cause the corn mixture to blow the top off and you'll have a mess)
Return the onion/bacon mixture to the dutch oven.  Add the last half of the  potatoes, remaining corn and  chicken broth.  Add the creamed corn mixture.  Add thyme and salt and pepper to taste.  If chowder is too thick thin it with a little more milk or half and half.

You can add ham, cooked chicken or Tilapia to this chowder. If adding Tilapia remove bacon from the pan after cooking.  Drain on paper towels.  Remove all but 1 TBSP. of bacon grease.  Saute onion in bacon grease.  Add tilapia and cook almost through.  Add bacon back to pan and proceed with recipe.
  I've also added fresh green chilies or fire roasted poblano peppers.  They add a great "kick" which most of my Texas friends seem to need in just about everything!
This is also a great way to use leftover mashed potatoes.    Just eliminate the potato boiling portion of the recipe.

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