Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Corn and Bacon Chowder

Corn is without a doubt my favorite vegetable and one that I have never strayed from. Even as a kid I would gladly eat spoonfuls of golden kernels piled high on my plate without complaint - it probably has something to do with the sugar content (umm...corn syrup anyone?), but that's beside the point. Corn = deliciousness with the added bonus of health benefits.

Then enters the bacon! (Wasn't I just talking about health benefits...oops!) After all, we all know that bacon makes everything taste better (meaty, fatty and salty - oh my!). The combination of salty and sweet in this bowl of delight proves this glorious point once again. (You can tell your arteries not to stress too much - there's only a modest amount of pork heaven per serving). 

Ideally you'd want to make this in the summer when the kernel is in its prime. I had the good fortune of preparing this dish during such a time (August 15th to be exact - and yes, I know how long ago that was...), but thanks to globalization we are able to find "seasonal" produce all year round (for better or worse). Summertime can now be whenever you want! In fact, I have to complete a menu project for school over the coming weeks and I'm pretty sure the theme will be a summer barbecue. Looks like I have a good candidate for a second course!

Ingredients (Yields approximately 4 servings):
  • 6 ears of corn
  • 6 strips of bacon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • pepper (to taste)
  1. Husk the ears of corn and slice the kernels off the cob.
  2. Place the cobs into a large pot, cover with water, add the bay leaves, and simmer for 20 minutes to make a corn broth.
  3. Dice the bacon into half inch strips (pseudo lardons for all of you culinary aficionados out there) and cook the bacon in a skillet until done. Reserve some for a garnish.
  4. Add the corn kernels to the skillet with the rest of the bacon and rendered fat. Saute for about 10 minutes and season with pepper (there should already be enough salt from the bacon, but you can check that at the end). 
  5. Next, put about two-thirds of the skillet contents and roughly a cup of the corn broth into a blender.***
  6. Start blending and add more of the liquid as necessary to obtain the desired consistency. Combine with the remaining whole kernels, taste/adjust for seasoning and serve with the reserved bacon for garnish.

Change It Up: I prefer the end result to be a little chunky which is why I decided to leave some of the kernels whole, but feel free to do whatever floats your boat. You can also consider adding something like heavy cream, butter or cheese to make it a little richer and alter the flavor profile a bit. What else would be good to add?

***Be cautious about putting hot items into a blender - hold the lid with a towel to prevent it from exploding.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for shouting out my birthday. August 15th is a great day for many reasons, including making this delicious dish!