September 12, 2012

Spicy Corn Chowder

I love when corn is in season. The flavour of fresh corn is unbeatable. Here's another recipe for your fresh corn ...

Now, this is not meant to be a soup ... this is a chowder ... and a chowder needs a bit of body to it. The fresh Corn is the star here, so we use cornmeal instead of flour to thicken it, and we simmer the corn cobs in the stock to give it an even richer corn flavour. The peppers give a nice smoky, lingering heat to balance the sweet Corn, but nothing overwhelming. The chorizo is also a nice smoky, meaty addition but you could easily omit it to keep the Chowder vegetarian-friendly.


1                      Onion, chopped
2 stalks            Celery, chopped
1                      Bell Pepper – green or red, chopped
1                      Chipotle Pepper, chopped (or Chipotles in Adobo) – if you like it spicy, increase.
2                      Potatoes, peeled and chopped
4 cloves           Garlic, diced
4 Ears              Corn Kernels (about 3-4 cups)
1 tbsp              Cornmeal
½ lb                 Chorizo sausage
4 Cups             Vegetable Stock
2 Cups             Water
½ Cup             Lime Juice (or the juice of 1 lime)
½ tsp               Salt
½ tsp               Black Pepper
½ tsp               Chipotle Chili Powder (or Ancho Chili Powder, Smoked Chipotle Powder)
1 tsp                Cumin
1 tsp                Coriander
2 Cups             Milk or Light Cream
2 Cups             Cheddar Cheese, grated
2 tbsp             Cilantro, fresh


Husk and clean the corn, chopping the kernels off and reserving the cobs.
Dice the Onion, Celery, Garlic, Pepper, and Potato.

Melt down the butter and sauté the Onion and Celery for 5 minutes.
Then, add the Pepper, Chili Pepper and Potato for 5 minutes more.
Finally, add the Garlic for a minute further.

Sprinkle the corn meal over the sautéed vegetables, toss things around for a moment to coat.
Pour in the Vegetable Stock, Water, and Lime Juice.

Scrape all the brown bits off of the bottom of the pot and add the corn cobs (not the corn kernels), Salt, Pepper, Cumin, and Coriander.

Raise this to an active boil. You want to make sure that the corn cobs are reasonably submerged. If you need to, add a bit more water.

During all of this, in another pot, remove the Chorizo from its casings and brown the meat, breaking it up with a spoon, until totally cooked through. Drain off excess grease and set aside.

Once the corn pot reaches an active boil, add the corn kernels to the pot.
Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, remove the corn cobs and add the Cilantro.

Use a food processor or immersion blender to puree the Chowder.

Drop the heat to low.
Add the Milk and grated Cheddar Cheese. Stir to combine. Add cooked Chorizo.
Cover the pot and leave it on low heat for 5-10 minutes.

For garnish, I used a spoonful of sour cream and some chopped fresh parsley. Tortilla chips would be nice for a crisp contrast, or a fresh salsa would be a different way to go (diced tomato, pepper, corn kernels).

Serves: 4

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