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Corn Chowder

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With the cold weather finally here, I think it's time for one of my favorite soup recipes--Corn Chowder. A Pennsylvania Dutch classic, this hearty dish is very popular in our area. I've tried many variations of this recipe, and I know there are a ton out there. Below is my favorite. It comes from America's Test Kitchen. 

Corn Chowder

Serves 6

Be careful to remove only the part of the corn kernel sticking out of the cob; cutting deeper will pull off fibrous

material. Yukon gold potatoes can be substituted for the red potatoes, minced chives for the basil. Depending

on the sweetness of your corn, the finished chowder may need to be seasoned with sugar.

INGREDIENTS

8 ears corn, husks and silk removed

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 onion, chopped fine

4 slices bacon, halved lengthwise then cut into 1/4 inch pieces

2 teaspoons fresh thyme

Salt and pepper

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

5 cups water

3/4 pound red potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 cup half-and-half

Sugar

3 tablespoons fresh basil

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Using chef’s knife or corn stripper, cut kernels from corn; transfer to bowl and set aside (you should have 5

to 6 cups kernels). Holding cobs over second bowl, use back of butter knife to firmly scrape any remaining pulp

on cobs into bowl (you should have 2 to 2 1/2 cups pulp). Transfer pulp to center of clean kitchen towel set in

medium bowl. Wrap towel tightly around pulp and squeeze tightly until dry. Discard pulp in towel and set corn

juice aside (you should have about 2/3 cup juice).

2. Melt butter in Dutch oven over medium heat; add onion, bacon, thyme, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon

pepper; cook, stirring frequently, until onion is softened and edges are beginning to brown, 8 to 10 minutes.

Stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Whisking constantly, gradually add water and bring to

boil. Add corn kernels and potatoes. Return to simmer; reduce heat to medium-low and cook until potatoes

have softened, 15 to 18 minutes.

3. Process 2 cups chowder in blender until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Return puree to chowder; add half-and-half

and return to simmer. Remove pot from heat and stir in reserved corn juice. Season to taste with salt, pepper,

and up to 1 tablespoon sugar. Serve, sprinkling with basil

A few items I find helpful in making this dish:

-A wide based stock pot to make sauteing the onions and bacon easier

-A wide, sharp cook or chef's knife,This extra wide cook's knife gives you the heft of a larger knife, while still be nimble and able to maneuver easily. 

Hope you enjoy! What's your favorite cold weather food?

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