03 September 2009

Corn Chowder

This recipe is quick, easy, and completely satisfying. Use your leftover summer corn if you have it, or frozen corn if you don't. I do not recommend using canned corn as it is too soft to begin with and usually too high in salt. This chowder is fantastic as a stand alone meal paired with bread or as a side dish to your ribs and burgers this holiday weekend. (I know it is traditional to add bacon to corn chowder, but I left it out to make it healthier.)

You will need:

2T Smart Balance
3 potatoes (I used Yukon gold)
4-5 ribs celery
1 large onion (or 2 small)
large box chicken broth (fat free, low sodium)
bag of frozen corn (or four cups fresh)
2 cups milk or cream
1 bay leaf

Chop up the onion and celery and saute in the butter until almost soft.

Add chopped potatoes.

Add half a bag of frozen corn. Cover with chicken broth. (The amount depends on your veggies or on how soupy you want your chowder. If you like it thin, add more broth, but remember that you will also be adding milk. Just make sure the veggies are covered with a bit extra. You may also need to add more as the chowder boils.) Add bay leaf and sprinkle with paprika.

Bring to a light boil and cook until your veggies are tender. Then add 2 cups of milk. You can use skim to keep it healthy or use half and half or whole milk to make it creamier. This recipe is so versatile that you can take the basics and make it to your taste easily!

Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low. After it simmers, taste it. Is it salty enough? If you are using bacon, it probably won't need any salt. If not, you may need to add some. I use Kosher salt, but use a light hand. You can always add more, but you can't take out excess. Add black pepper to your taste, too. Like a kick? Give it a couple of shakes of cayenne pepper or Tabasco sauce. Now let it cook for an hour, stirring every ten minutes or so. (You could actually eat this right away since the veggies are tender, but the longer it cooks the creamier it gets. Many chowder recipes call for a tsp or so of cornstarch to thicken, but that is not necessary in this recipe.)

The result is a mild, creamy corn chowder. Excellent on a cold day, as a hot side dish, or when you are feeling icky.

I already mentioned that you can add bacon, but you could also add ham or baked chicken. Carrots or mushrooms would be great, too. Play around with this dish and make it your own or make it as is and...


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