Monday, July 24, 2006

Got Corn?

The other day we picked up a dozen ears of corn from Costco. Also, I've had a hankering for corn chowder for a while, so since we're going to the beach tomorrow for a couple days, and the corn won't wait any longer, I made a batch of chowder this morning. I'll put it in the fridge, and it will taste even better after a couple days' sitting. The roasting step with butter sweetens up the kernels even more and gives a nice toasty flavor to the finished chowder. I added a pinch of cayenne pepper in the pureeing step to give a bit of a kick, and I'll re-season just before reheating and serving. Also, I'm not going to add the cream until that time, as cream once boiled may curdle. Yuck!

Notice that this is not high in calories, even with the cream; so go ahead and enjoy a big bowlful. A nice salad would complement this just fine, perhaps tomatoes and zucchinis from the garden, both of which should be plentiful just about this time of summer.

I got this recipe from the Simi Winery website.

-- 10 to 12 ears of corn, unshucked -- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter -- 4 large garlic cloves, unpeeled -- 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock -- 2 cups water -- 1 large baking potato, peeled, cut into eighths -- 4 teaspoons cornmeal -- 1 cup heavy cream -- Salt and pepper -- Basil oil and basil sprigs (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS: Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Pull back husk partway on each corn ear. Using all the butter, put a small piece inside each husk, replace husk, and place ears in a single layer on a baking sheet (or two). Scatter garlic around ears. Bake 20 minutes.
Let cool, then peel garlic and shuck corn. Scrape kernels from cobs and set aside 2 cups. Reserve 6 of the cobs.
Combine stock, water and 6 corn cobs in a large pot. (Cut cobs in half if necessary.) Add peeled garlic and potato. Simmer until potato is soft. Discard corn cobs.
Transfer mixture to food processor. Add corn kernels (except reserved 2 cups) and cornmeal; puree. Return puree to pot and stir in cream. Thin, if desired, with a little stock. Heat just to a boil. Stir in reserved corn kernels. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve immediately, garnishing, if desired, with a swirl of basil oil and a basil sprig.
Serves 8.
(c) Mary Evely, Simi Winery
PER SERVING: 295 calories, 6 g protein, 32 g carbohydrate, 18 g fat (11 g saturated), 57 mg cholesterol, 29 mg sodium, 4 g fiber.

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