Corn season is here on Long Island, and with corn season, comes corn chowder! Yippee!
Luckily for us, Uncle Tom lives out in Southold, so every time he comes to dinner, he makes sure to bring enough for all of us to take home. It is so incredibly sweet and tender that you can eat it right off the cob – raw. I actually like to snack on the little kernels before I blanch them…
I have made many a corn chowder recipe in my time, but thus far, the recipe below is my favorite. It is a lovingly modified version of Ina Garten's Cheddar Corn Chowder recipe – her version is fabulous, but a bit too heavy for my taste. So without further ado…here it is:
Cheddar Corn Chowder
* 8 ounces bacon, chopped
* 2 tablespoons good olive oil
* ½ small yellow onion, chopped
* 1 large carrot, diced
* 1 large celery stalk, diced
* 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter
* ½ cup flour
* 1 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
* 10 cups chicken stock
* 4 cups medium-diced red potatoes, peeled (about 5 medium sized potatoes)
* ¼ cup diced red pepper
* 8 fresh ears of corn
* ½ pound sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
Step 1: In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, cook the bacon and olive oil until the bacon is crisp, about 5-7 minutes. Once bacon is crisp, remove it from the pot with a slotted spoon and reserve. (I like to place the bacon on a paper towel lined bowl to catch the excess oil.)
Step 2: While bacon is cooking, remove the corn kernels from the cob, and blanch them for 3 minutes in boiling salted water. Drain and set aside.
Step 3: Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onions, carrots, celery and butter to the pot, and cook until the vegetables are tender, and onions are translucent, about 10 minutes.
Step 4: Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, and turmeric and cook for 3 minutes.
Step 5: Add the chicken stock, potatoes, and red pepper. Bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are fork-tender.
Step 6: Remove the potatoes from the broth with a slotted spoon, and place into a large bowl. Using a potato masher, smash the potatoes until they are nicely broken up and add back into the soup. (This will create a thicker-style chowder without the need for heavy cream!)
Step 7: Add the corn and cheddar cheese. Cook for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is fully incorporated.
Step 8: Serve hot with a hearty sprinkling of bacon on top. Season with salt and pepper, if needed. (I find that the crispy bacon adds the additional salt that salt-lovers need. However, I am not a salt person, so you may want to add more salt to taste.)
LEFTOVER NOTES: This chowder freezes well. We love eating our leftover chowder with fresh lump crab meat mixed in! For the kids, we serve a smaller dish of the corn chowder (sans the crab meat) with some hot-off-the-griddle grilled cheese! Yummy!