Howzabout some cheddar corn chowder?

  • By Judyrae Kruse Herald columnist
  • Wednesday, February 1, 2012 9:06pm
  • Life

Call me a sucker for soup, but I not only love the stuff, I’m positively glued to the opinion that it’s not just a smug-making thing to fix, it can be a real lifesaver sometimes, too.

Now don’t mention this around — keep it quiet — but my husband’s almost as big a souper as I am. Hard to say whether he always tended to be that way in the beginning, or whether I might have corrupted him all these bad-weather, snowed-in winters.

Whatever the case may be, I was understandably not blown off my feet when he breezed through the door the other day, plonked his attache case down, immediately flipped the latches, fished around in the interior for a minute and then waved a recipe around.

This is it, and it’s a simple corn chowder, enhanced with both bacon and cheddar, courtesy of http:/www.foodchannel.com.

He, of course, told me it was for a crab chowder, his favorite thing, second only to a Maine-style lobster stew. It was not until I actually read the recipe myself that I discovered that not only does the basic recipe stand alone perfectly well, but that it can easily be adapted to include crab or, Cajun-style, smoked sausage.

Obviously, this is a must-make recipe (fair is fair around here — give me a batch of my family’s old chili or cabbage patch soup, then it’s his turn for crab chowder or other whim), so I jotted the needed ingredients on our weekly grocery shopping list.

Since this makes a whopping amount, it would be great for feeding a crowd, or to serve twice. Or, what I think I’ll do this first go-round, is cut it in half.

In case you feel compelled to do the same thing, here’s the how-to for:

Food Channel’s cheddar corn chowder

1/2 pound bacon, cut into 6 to 8 pieces per slice

1/4 cup regular olive oil

6 cups yellow onions, finely chopped

4 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup flour

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

12 cups chicken stock

6 cups diced potatoes, peeled or with scrubbed skins left on

10 cups corn (about 3 pounds frozen corn), thawed if frozen

2 cups half-and-half

1/2 pound white cheddar cheese, grated

In a large stockpot on medium-high heat, cook the bacon until crisp; remove and reserve for topping the finished soup.

Add oil to drippings and heat to medium. Add onions and butter and cook until onions are translucent. Stir in flour, salt, pepper and turmeric and cook for several minutes.

Add chicken stock and potatoes, bring to boil and simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

Add the corn, half-and-half and cheese; cook until cheese is melted.

Garnish with bacon.

Makes 10 servings.

New England crab and corn chowder: Add flaked crab meat to taste and a shake of Old Bay seasoning to prepared corn chowder and serve with oyster crackers.

Cajun-style corn chowder: Add diagonal-sliced smoked sausage (such as andouille) and a splash of cayenne pepper sauce to prepared soup and heat until hot.

The next Forum will appear in Wednesday’s Good Life section.

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