From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I had to stop myself and take a really deep breath today. I have a stubborn sensibility that refuses to acknowledge that I can't change the amount of time it takes the earth to move around the sun. I was reminded of that today while shampooing carpets that should have been cleaned several weeks ago. Our big Christmas "do" will be on Sunday and I still have a huge list of things that must be done. There are reasons, some of them actually valid, to explain why my chore list had grown to the size of a child's Christmas list. I won't bore you with them, other than to say that life got in the way and I dropped one or two of the balls I was trying to keep in the air. A coffee break helped me realize that none of the dropped balls had actually broken and if I segmented the remaining tasks everything would get done in time. Then I had another cup of coffee, and tonight I'm happy to report all the surfaces we walk on sparkle. As a matter-of-fact, you could perform surgery on them. I really have been busy and with days so tightly packed I've been relying on simple meals to free my hands for the outstanding tasks at hand. I thought some of you might be able to use the recipes to simplify your own dinner preparation at this busy time of year. Most of the recipes I'll be featuring this week are quick and easy to prepare.The first is a cod and corn chowder whose name is misleading. The chowder is thinner in consistency than most, but it has remarkable flavor and when served with a salad and crusty bread it makes an ideal light meal. I really think you will enjoy it. Here's how it is made.
Corn and Cod Chowder...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Food and Wine magazine
1/4 pound sliced bacon
1 tablespoon butter
2 onions, chopped
2 cups water
1 cup bottled clam juice
3/4 pound boiling potatoes (about 2), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
1 rib celery, chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 cups fresh (cut from about 3 ears) or frozen corn kernels
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 pounds cod fillets, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1) In a large pot, cook bacon until crisp. Drain bacon on paper towels and crumble when cooled.
2) Add butter and onions to pot. Cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
3) Add water, clam juice, potatoes, celery, red-pepper flakes, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
4) Return bacon to pot. Add corn, milk, and cream and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in cod and pepper. Bring back to a simmer and cook until just done, about 3 minu or ocean perch, tes longer. Yield: 4 servings.
Cook's Notes: Any firm mild fish that won't disintegrate, such as pollack, orange roughy, can be used in the soup.
One Year Ago Today: Apple Walnut Bread
Two Years Ago Today: Assorted Christmas Confections
Three Years Ago Today: Florentine Lace Cookies