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Corn Chowder with Roasted Peppers

Serves: Makes 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 thick strips bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 cups chicken stock, top-quality chicken broth or vegetable stock.
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 3 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from 5 to 6 ears)
  • 1 yellow and 1 red bell pepper, roasted, cored, seeded, and diced
  • 1½ cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley


Procedures:

This recipe produces a light chowder that is a wonderful way to highlight summer’s fresh sweet corn. You can use frozen corn off-season, but the flavor will be quite different, lacking the gentle sweetness of fresh seasonal corn. If you prefer a spicy version, add 1/4 cup or so of chopped canned green chiles and/or use pepper bacon in place of the regular bacon. And if that touch of chowder richness is what you love, use cream or half-and-half instead of the milk I call for.
  1. Fry the bacon in a large saucepan over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes, until browned and crisp. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain, reserving the bacon fat in the pan.


  2. Add the potatoes, onion, and celery to the pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until beginning to soften. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the water and simmer 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chicken stock, tomato paste, salt, thyme, and bay leaf. Continue to simmer until the potatoes are tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Discard the bay leaf.


  3. Add the bacon, corn, roasted bell peppers, milk, and parsley to the chowder and simmer gently for 5 to 7 minutes, just until heated through; do not allow the chowder to boil. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt to taste

by Sur La Table & Renée Behnke

 
 
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