Monday, November 24, 2008

Caramelized Corn Chowder

If you're looking for a new twist to an old favorite you'll love this caramelized version of corn chowder. While the recipe calls for frying corn until it begins to caramelize, the chowder was really named to grab your attention - I didn't think something called fried corn chowder would faze you. If you're still with me, it's wonderful by the cup as a Thanksgiving starter. It's better still by the bowlful on a damp winter night. It's easy to do and truly delicious, so build a fire, light the candles, uncork the wine and enjoy some chowder Oregon-style.

Caramelized Corn Chowder

1 teaspoon canola or vegetable oil
6 slices slab bacon, diced
1 large onion, diced
4 teaspoons chopped garlic
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 quart chicken stock
4 large Yukon gold potatoes, diced
1 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
1 to 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce (i.e. Tabasco)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon butter
4 cups fresh corn (see cook's note regarding frozen corn)
1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Garnish: chopped basil or parsley

1) Heat oil in a 5 to 6-quart stockpot. Add bacon and cook until bacon is brown and crisp. Transfer to paper toweling. Set aside.
2) Add onion to pan and cook until onions are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Blend in flour and cook until it begins to brown. Whisk in stock. Add potatoes and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Add cream, hot pepper sauce to taste and basil. Keep warm.
3) Meanwhile, heat butter in a large skillet. Add the corn and sugar; stir to distribute sugar. Cook, without stirring, until underside is brown, about 4 minutes. Turn and cook until reverse side is brown, about 4 minutes longer.
4) Add corn and reserved bacon to soup. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 10 minutes. Garnish with parsley or basil. Yield: 6 generous servings.

Cook's Note: Thawed frozen corn may be used if patted dry.


Martha said...

We don't do soup at Thanksgiving but it would be great to have a cup of this soup with that Thanksgiving night turkeysandwich!

Cathy said...

This sounds so good, Mary. Nothing warms us up like a hearty bowl of soup. My family is going to the coast for Thanksgiving and I'm going to make this to take along. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

Jersey Girl Cooks said...

This is one great soup.

Maria said...

The soup looks fantastic!! A great twist on a classic.

Allie said...

Your soup sounds wonderful!

Barbara said...

Mary, I like anything that has been caramelized. We don't do soup at our home for Thanksgiving, but it sounds like a wonderful cold night treat.

Peter M said...

I do like the idea of caremelized corn...kinda like what the Peruvians do.

I'm all about soup these days and you've hit the spot here.

Mary Bergfeld said...

Glad we could please, Peter.

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