Potato and corn, to be exact.

This year, for the first time, Brad and I joined a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) group. It has been an awesome experience. Once a week, we go to the farmers market and pick up a bag of assorted farm fresh fruits and veggies. We also get a half dozen organic farm raised eggs.

It is always a treat to peek in the bag and see what the good folks at Bergefurds farm have picked for us.

We have received an abundance of corn and potatoes.

Every week for about 6 weeks, we received 4-8 ears of sweet corn.

Now, I love me some corn.

But for 2 people… too much.

I have been giving it out at work.

I have been handing it out on street corners.

I have been selling it on Craig’s List.

I have been racking my brain with clever things to do with corn in the kitchen.

And when one of those cooler late summer days happened upon us, I decided it was time for some Corn and Potato Chowda.

Yummers.

Like any good recipe, this one starts with bacon. However this is an optional step. If you leave the bacon out, the rest of the recipe is vegetarian. If you leave the bacon in, it is not.

That last sentence is my obvious statement of the day.

Throw a tablespoon of olive oil into a pan over medium heat.

Chop up 4 slices of bacon and throw them in a pot. I happened to use uncured bacon here, which is another story for another day.

Anyone out there have an opinion on or experience with cured vs. uncured bacon?

I don’t know a whole lot about it.

However, the man at the farmer’s market selling the bacon made me feel like a sinner for using cured bacon.

So, I caved and bought the uncured.

It was very very delicious, but you have to add in your own flavors (salt/pepper/liquid smoke).

I’m not sure it is worth the extra work.

Someone tell me what to do here.

For, I am lost.

Once the bacon is all browned and delicious, remove the bacon and put it on a paper towel to drain a bit.

Then, toss out some of that extra bacon fat.

Leave 2 tablespoons of the fat in the pan.

Chop up 4-5 potatoes (I used red potatoes- on the smaller side. If you are using larger baking potatoes, you will only need 1-2).

Throw ’em in your pot.

And stir ’em around.

Now we shall prepare a leek.

Do you ever cook with leeks?

I love them.

They add a lovely mild onion flavor to a dish without overwhelming it.

This is a leek:

It kind of looks like a giant green onion.

Chop off the white end.

Then chop off the thick woodier green part.

Now slice it in half lengthwise.

Then, chop it into little half moons.

Now, in between those delicious little half moons of oniony goodness, there may be some dirt.

Why?

Because these are plants, and they were grown in the dirt.

That’s why.

Fill up a bowl with cold water.

Throw in your leeks.

Let the dirt fall away.

In the meantime, cut the corn off of 5-6 ears of corn.

Or open two cans of corn.

And toss the corn in with the taters.

Drain your leeks.

And throw them into your pot.

Also toss in a teaspoon of dried thyme.

Put in a little salt and pepper.

And then some wine.

I used a drier Sauvignon Blanc, and I added about a cup.

The wine will help you to scrape all of those delicious bits of flavor off of the bottom of the pan.

It will also help you reduce the stress level in your life.

When consumed from a glass.

I recommend pouring yourself one if you are feeling a little stressed today.

I should also note that if you don’t groove on wine, you can leave this step out.

Use some vegetable stock to deglaze the bottom of your pan.

After the wine and vegetables have hung out for 4-5 minutes, add in some vegetable stock.

Enough to cover all of the vegetables… about 4 cups.

Throw in a bay leaf.

Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low.

Now, cream.

Oh, cream.

Yummy creamy cream.

So, I add in a splash of cream (about 1/4 c) for the rich flavor. Then, so that I can sleep at night, I add in about a cup and a half of low-fat milk.

To make a chowda properly, you should use all cream.

But I would like to state for the public record that cream has been known to cause husbands to swoon children to eat all of their food.

So, add the cream at your own risk.

Mmm, savory, creamy deliciousness.

Now, you could stop right there and put this in a bowl.

Life would be very good.

And your belly would be full

However, I do have a way to bring this soup up a notch.

You will like it, I promise.

What if you added jalapeno/cilantro cream to the top?

It is amazeballs. Can I say that word?

It is the only word that seems appropriate.

Here is what it looks like:

And here is how you make it (the jalapeno cream is a Wolfgang Puck recipe, by the way):

Combine all of the following ingredients in a small bowl:

-1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped

-1/4 cup sour cream

-1 jalapeno pepper, cored, seeded, and minced

-2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

-Salt, to taste

-Freshly ground pepper, to taste

-Lemon juice

*Note: This cream is at its best when the flavors have some time to meld together. I had a leftover bowl of soup for lunch the day after I made it for dinner, and the cream was about 100 times better than the night before. So, if you are a plan ahead type of person, I recommend making the cream at least a couple of hours before the soup will be ready. But if not, still make it! Please.

Top your soup with a dollop of the cream and some of those saved bacon crumbles.

Serve with a green salad.

Ooooo-eeeee.

I like the chowda.

Enjoy my friends,

LW

Advertisements