Archive | 11:32 am

Corn and Tomato Chowder

10 Aug

Looking for a full-flavored, supremely sweet, scrumptiously savory corn and tomato chowder without heavy cream or bacon or any of those other quick fix flavor enhancers?  This is the chowder for you.  Yeah, heavy cream is yummy.  But it’s also not the best for you.  And why eat something that isn’t the best for you when you can have equally yummy results with a fraction of the calories, fat, and cholesterol?

… yes, that’s rhetorical.  The answer is: you don’t.  At least not all the time.

It might seem like I’m trying to sell this as health food.  I’m not.  Sure, it’s packed with vegetables, including potatoes, tomatoes, corn (oh, especially corn), and, if you desire, some nutritious spinach.  But the real selling point of this dish is the flavor.  The key here is to use good corn, and do not skimp on corn cobs.  This infuses the broth with deliciously sweet corn flavor.  I could not get enough of this and was extremely happy I made enough for leftovers, because I couldn’t wait to eat it for lunch again the next day.

Corn and Tomato Chowder

1 tbs. unsalted butter

1 large yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup chopped)

3 cloves garlic, finely minced

4-5 corn cobs, kernels reserved from one or two (about 1 cup kernels)

1 bay leaf

6 cups 1% milk

6-10 small redskin potatoes, roughly chopped

1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved and seeds removed

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

A handful or two of baby spinach, wilted in a saucepan (optional)

In a large sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic and sauté until translucent, about 3-5 minutes.  Break corn cobs in half and add to the saucepan.  Add the milk and bay leaf.  Season with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.  Reduce heat to very low and cover.  Cook for 30-45 minutes, making sure the liquid is at barely a simmer so as to avoid scorching the milk.

Remove corn cobs and bay leaf.  Add potatoes and tomatoes.  Simmer 15-20 minutes or until tomatoes and potatoes are tender.  Taste for seasonings and season with salt and pepper as necessary.  Add reserved corn kernels and simmer for 3-5 minutes until heated through.

Serve immediately, topping with spinach if desired.

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