We had our first sniff of Fall yesterday; sunny skies, dark passing clouds, a steady, cool breeze, and temperatures hovering in the mid 60s. I can almost smell all the wonderful baked goods and comforting Fall foods. However, I am not quite ready to give up on the stars of late summer produce, like corn and tomatoes. Fortunately, I can have both Fall and Summer with this recipe--a bowl of sweet corn to satisfy my summer craving and a warm bowl of chowder to take off the early Fall chill.
Corn, shrimp, potatoes and bacon all come together in this bowl of goodness. Half the corn kernels are puréed and the other half are left whole giving you a perfect texture. The potatoes add body, the shrimp add meatiness, and the bacon takes it over the top. A dash of cayenne adds a welcome bit of heat.
This is also a flexible recipe. If you don't want to use shrimp, simply omit them from the recipe and add more potato. Got lobster instead of shrimp? That's great, too. The original recipe made a corn broth using the corn cobs, but I use chicken broth both for simplicity and because I always have some in the refrigerator (and I like it). You can use water or vegetable stock instead. Like I have said before, make it for you, make it your own.
Sweet Corn and Shrimp Chowder
10 ears sweet corn
1 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
8 ounces bacon, julienned
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
1 small garlic clove, finely diced
1 large Yukon gold potato, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
12 ounces medium sized shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 1/2 to 2 cups chicken broth
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste (optional)
Remove the kernels from the cobs. Place half the kernels, reserving the other half, in a medium saucepan with the cream and cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, or until the cream is reduced to about 2/3 cup. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and purée until smooth; set aside.
In a large sauté pan over medium-low heat, cook the bacon until the fat has rendered and is golden and crisp; about 5-8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel to drain. Pour off the bacon fat, reserving 2 tablespoons in the pan. Add the onion, garlic, potato and the remaining corn to the bacon fat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-12 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring continuously, for 2-3 minutes, or until the shrimp are just cooked. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Place the corn purée in a large saucepan over medium heat-low heat. Add the sautéed corn mixture and stir. Add the broth 1/2 cup at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Cook for 5 minutes, or until warmed through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowl and sprinkle with chives and the reserved cooked bacon. Season with cayenne pepper if using. Enjoy!
Source: Adapted from Charlie Trotter Cooks at Home