Wednesday, July 21, 2004

corn and chanterelle chowder


corn and chanterelle chowder Posted by Hello

i don't often do anything with corn aside from roasting it, boiling it, or steaming it, then twisting off each kernel and eating them one by one. but since my aunt asked me if i had a good corn chowder recipe, and since i can get some really good corn at the farmers' market, i felt inspired to take a stab at it. in all honesty i had planned to make it last thursday after buying the corn, but i've been either too busy or too lazy to make it until last night. it's recommended, however, that you eat corn shortly after it's picked, otherwise the sugars are converted to starch, thus making the corn less pleasant to eat. i had this in mind all week, but still couldn't get my ass in gear.

anyway, i found this interesting recipe in deborah madison's local flavors. deborah madison is the founding chef of san francisco's greens restaurant. she's also the author of many cookbooks, including one of my favorites, vegetarian cooking for everyone, a massive tome of recipes, tips, and information.

i won't lie to you. the corn and chanterelle chowder recipe requires a fair bit of work. you must make the stock first, then add the rest of the vegetables. and you can't really cheat with the stock, like i sometimes (always) do in other recipes with store-bought veggie broth.

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Corn and Chanterelle Chowder
from Local Flavors
by Deborah Madison

the vegetables
4 large ears of corn, shucked
2 long leeks or 2 cups chopped
2 German Buterball or other yellow waxy potatoes, scrubbed
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tsp. chopped thyme
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 or more cups chanterelles, cleaned and sliced about 1/4 inch thick
1/2 cup cream
2 Tbsp. each chopped parsley and snipped chives

the stock
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
2 bushy thyme sprigs
handful parsley stems
1 bay leaf
1 quart milk, whole or 2 percent

Slice corn kernels off the cob, cutting roughly two thirds of the way into the kernels. Use the back of the knife to press out the scrapings. Break the cobs into 3 pieces and set aside for the stock.

Cut off the root ends of the leeks. Rinse and add to the cobs. Cut the leaves off and coarsely chop a cup of them. Wash and add to cobs. Cut the remaining white parts into quarters lengthwise and chop. Set aside.

Peel the potatoes and dice into small cubes. Add the skins to the cobs.

Make the stock: Melt the butter in a large pot. Add all the veggie trimmings (cobs and all), the onion, celery, herbs, and a teaspoon of salt. Stir frequently so it doesn't brown. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, then add the milk. Slowly bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to very low. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure nothing sticks. Strain the stock, and wash out your pot.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in your clean soup pot. Add the leeks, potatoes and half the thyme. Add one cup of water and a 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, then add the corn.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in a wide skillet. When the butter foams, add the mushrooms and saute over high heat, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes. Add them and any juices to the soup pot, then add the stock. Bring slowly to a simmer, and cook until the potatoes are tender. Stir in the cream and the remaining herbs. Salt and pepper to taste.

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ok, so i made a few changes when i made the chowder. first of all, i didn't exactly use chanterelles. i couldn't find any good ones, and even if i had, i wouldn't have been able to afford them. i substituted oyster mushrooms, and they were delicious. i also decided to add an extra ear of corn. it could only make the chowder better, right? well, i think i'll stick to the original 4 ears next time because that extra ear made the chowder a tad too sweet. the first bowl was great, but by the second, it was too much. hmm, what else? oh yeah, i've never heard of german butterballs before. oh, and by the time the chowder was finished, i couldn't be bothered to chop up more herbs, so the chives, parsley, and extra thyme never made it into my pot. the chowder was lovely, nonetheless. it was perfect with a couple slices of lightly toasted acme italian batard.

btw, does anyone know how to cut kernels off a corncob without having the kernels fly every which way and spray my glasses? it's a good thing my dog kurn and my cat dexy love corn. no clean-up for me! i hope mr. dexygus (the veterinarian) doesn't read this.


dexy enjoying an appetizer Posted by Hello

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