I’ve never before eaten Corn Chowder (much less made it), so I have little to compare it to. But it’s been in the back of my mind to make since I saw it a year ago on America’s Test Kitchen, so I decided to make it for a small crowd gathered to celebrate my son’s first communion. It is a delicious summertime side dish, perfect to fill out the table as part of a barbecue. For the celebration I pulled out all the stops; and served it with the Grilled Stuffed Flank Steak, Potato Salad, Smokey BBQ beans and Sangria. Everything turned out fantastic, and I would rate the Corn Chowder 4-stars.
- The only part of the recipe that confused me was in step 1, when you separate the kernels and pulp from the cob. I was worried that I might be cutting away too much pulp and I sliced off the kernels, but in the end you will throw away the solid from the pump (after extracting the juices). So the bottom line is you shouldn’t worry.
- The recipe only makes 8 to 9 smallish bowls, and I had 11 guests. While I was expecting that most of the kids wouldn’t want the corn chowder, it turned out that they did.
How much work? Medium.
How big of a mess? Medium.
Start time: 5:30. Dinner time: 6:15
Chris Kimball’s original recipe is here. The descriptions of how I prepared them today are given below:
8 ears corn
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 slices bacon
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
5 cups water
3/4-lb red potatoes
1 cup half-and-half
Up to 1 Tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- Remove husks and silk from corn. Cut kernels from the cob using a chef’s knife, being careful not to cut away too much of the pulp. Then over a large bowl, use the back of a stiff butter knife to scrape the pulp into the bowl (once you try it you will see how easy the pulp comes away from the cob). Put pulp in a clean kitchen towel and tightly wring the pulp allowing the juice to fall back into your large bowl. Chris Kimball says that I should have been able to extract 2/3-cup of juice, but I was only able to extract about 1/2-cup. Throw away the dried pulp.
- Finely chop your onion, stack your bacon slices and slice them lengthwise, then cut them into 1/4″ pieces. Mince you
- Put a Dutch oven over medium burner and melt your 3 tablespoons of butter. Saute onions, bacon, thyme, together with 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, for 8 to 10 minutes until the onion has softened and the edges begin to brown. While that cooks, dice your potato into 1/2″ pieces
- Mix in 1/4-cup flour and stir constantly for 1 to 2 minutes, then whisk in 5 cups of water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add your corn kernels and diced potatoes. Bring back up to a simmer, then reduce the burner to medium-low and cook for 18 minutes until the potatoes are ready.
- Remove 2 cups of chowder to blender and process it for 1 minute until smooth. Return processed chowder to the pot, and add 1 cup of half-and-half, and continue to cook until the pot has again reached a simmer.
- Remove from burner, add corn juice, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and as much as 1 tablespoon sugar depending upon the inherent sweetness of your corn.
- Spoon into individual bowls and sprinkle each bowl with 1 teaspoon minced basil.