Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Hearty Apple Corn Chowder

I'm so excited to share this recipe. 1.) it's the first real cooking I've done since moving, 2.) it's the first personal recipe I've posted in more than half a year, 3.) it helped me work out some of the challenges of photographing my food in the new apartment, and 4.) it's delicious.

Hearty Apple Corn Chowder

  • 16 oz yellow corn
  • 3 small red skin potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 apple, peeled and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup cream (or cashew cream for a vegan version)
  • 4 heaping tbsp flour
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste

Start by heating 2 tbsp of olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the red pepper and thyme, then cook for about 5 minutes while stirring frequently.

Reduce heat to medium-low, add another tbsp of olive oil, then add the garlic and corn, and continue roasting for about 2 minutes.

Add the flour and stir to coat the veggies thoroughly. Pour in the vegetable stock, stir, and let the soup come to a boil. Add the potato cubes and continue simmering with the lid off for about 10 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.

Stir in the diced apple pieces, then pour in the cream and season with salt and pepper. Continue to simmer on low until the chowder has a thick, soft consistency- if it gets too thick, add more veg stock 1/4 cup at a time. Makes 4 generous servings.

I first came across the idea of adding fruit to chowder a couple years ago when I saw a pear corn chowder on a menu at a Fairfax hotel restaurant. I didn't order it that day, but it stuck with me. You're playing with the same flavors and ingredients you might use to make a good cornbread, but instead of adding the traditional sugar you get some sweetness from the apple. It's a really nice balance of salty and sweet, and the flavor is super rich and savory.

I might try a variation on this in the summer when corn is in season- I used canned yellow corn for this, and much to my dismay, this led to a discovery that I don't have a can opener... I ended up using a screwdriver and pliers to do the job. I've been so organized, I can't believe I missed that!

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