03 December 2007

Corn Chowder

One nice thing about liking to cook and loving to experiment is that when you get a weird food craving, it's generally possible to satisfy that urge and have fun in the process. Unless the significant ingredients are out of season, prohibitively expensive, or simply not allowed in the US, that is. In the last category I'm talking about exotic, politically controversial foods like black currants, which couldn't be grown in the US for nearly 100 years.

When I got a hankerin' for some corn chowder, it was an easy trip to the grocery store. No exotic ingredients, no difficult preparation, just patience. I incorporated four root vegetables: red potatoes, garlic, shallots, and onion (parsnips would have been nice too). I used organic chicken broth, half-and-half instead of cream, and omitted the traditional bacon in favor of a big pile of lump crabmeat in the middle. Some sea salt and Texas Champagne hot sauce provided the extra bite the otherwise mild soup needed. I also used a ton of fresh shucked corn. There are few things more depressing at the table than a bowl of warm milk with a few stray kernels floating in it.

As much as I enjoyed this, I don't know how often I'll make it--it was really a full meal all in one bowl. Perhaps as a tiny, quarter cup serving before a larger meal.

6 comments:

mjhughes76 said...

I'm surprised that you don't make your own chicken stock. It would make your soup taste that much better.

Benito said...

Don't get me wrong, I love making stock. I make beef stock whenever I run low (soup bones are cheap and easy to find), and since I roast a lot of ducks in the winter, I try to use up the carcasses for savory, delicious duck stock (which you don't really see in the store). However, I rarely roast chickens, and with limited freezer space I have to make some concessions. Shelf-stable boxed chicken stock is good enough for quick soups, rice, couscous, etc.

Dale Cruse said...

Sounds delicious!

mjhughes76 said...

Mmmmmmm, duck. Do you keep the fat also? I love just about anything fried in duck fat. I would eat a sofa cushio if it was fried in duck fat.

mjhughes76 said...

I meant "cushion".

Benito said...

Hell yes I keep the duck fat. In fact, I keep the trimmings in the freezer until I have time to properly render them down.

Fingerling potatoes in duck fat are amazing.