Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sweet Corn Chowder

Sweet Corn Chowder
I've been a very bad foodie in regards to farmers' markets this year, despite the fact that I walk by one every Tuesday on my way home from work. I don't know why really, maybe my 6 month obsession with my sous vide setup has been too distracting... or maybe just that I was in a bit of a cooking funk... but regardless, now (even in New England) we are in high summer when corn and tomatoes are all in season and it's pretty impossible to resist their siren call (and who would want to?).

Even though it's been in the nineties here for what seems like months, I still felt like corn chowder more than any other of the myriad ways you can prepare fresh corn. Thus I picked this recipe from Saveur somewhat at random. So I bought corn from a local farm - picked that morning, which is key for sweet corn as it starts losing flavor as sugars turn to starch as soon as it is picked. I also had some leftover baguettes in the freezer, so I made my croutons from that instead of pumpernickel... but otherwise made the recipe as written. Though looking at the recipe now I see that it called for 8 cups of fresh corn which translates into some where in the 10-12 ears of corn area, whereas I only bought 6 because... well, I'm not sure really... it's just what I had in my head as the proper amount of corn for corn chowder. I thought it came out great as it was, but it's hard to argue with more corn. It isn't very aggressively spiced... just a teaspoon of curry powder with salt and pepper, but I think that is to it's credit not it's detriment when dealing with fresh picked summer corn.

Takes a little longer to prepare than you might expect since you sweat the onions, celery, and garlic for 15+ minutes and then the corn for another 20 before finishing with a roux and 10 minutes of simmering... but you can be doing the croutons as this happens, and can probably get your corn shucked and off the cob while the other veggies are going... though I prefer a more leisurely mise en place approach.

Pretty simple and really good.