Okay, ingredients first. The instructions are gonna get rambly. Tough.
- 4 ears Super Sweet corn, pre-husked so you don’t have to deal with corn silk (or two small bags frozen corn)
- 3 slices of thick bacon cut into small pieces
- Onion, diced (pre-diced from Safeway — suck it,
- Celery diced from the sticks I bought at Safeway (I wanted diced but they didn’t have them)
- A bunch of little potatoes, cut into quarters or sixths (maybe 20? I wasn’t counting. A bit over 2 cups)*
- 1 1/2 c. hot water
- 1 chicken bullion cube (or 1-2 tbs vegetable soup base — I use Penzey’s)
- 3 Tbs Butter
- 3 tbs flour
- 3 c. milk (fat-free because nobody in the house drinks anything else)
- 1/2 c. heavy cream
- Spices and whatnot (in my case, Penzey’s Florida Seasoned Pepper, chipotle powder, and ancho pepper powder)
- Decent but not too good chilled white wine (I used Chardonnay)
- Dry ginger beer (Fevertree or Gosling’s are good; Bundaberg is too sweet)
Serving suggestions: shredded cheddar, sour cream, hot sauce (my hot sauce of choice is Chipotle Tabasco.)
I started by hauling out the heavy (and beloved) cast iron Dutch oven, so I could feel like a real cook. I looked up twenty zillion corn chowder recipes and decide screw it, I’ll make my own.
Browned bacon pieces, resisting the urge to just eat the bacon. Removed pieces, leaving fat behind. Sweated onions and celery in bacon fat. While that is going on, cut kernels from corn. (I swear, next time I’m using frozen.) Congratulated myself that I still have all my fingers unscathed.
Dissolved the bullion cube in the hot water. Idly wondered how much sodium is in the bullion, and decided I am too lazy to check. Dumped dissolved bullion into pot, and added potatoes. Cooked until potatoes are nearly but not completely tender.
Got butter out of freezer and discovered I hadn’t bought 1/2 cup sticks last time I went to Costco, I had bought pound blocks. Chopped off what I think was three tablespoons. Melted the butter, got distracted, and managed to grab butter off burner before it got more than a little brown. Made a roux using the flour because I was born in New Orleans by God so I damn well better know how to make a roux. (Okay, so my parents left when I was four and I consider myself a Floridian, but still…) Added milk slowly, whisking all the while. Added cream, the second 1/2 cup after I accidentally knocked the first 1/2 cup all over the stove, including the burner which is for some reason missing a drip pan, which means it will be a bitch clearing it off the underpart of the stove.
Dumped milk mixture and corn in with potatoes. Added bacon pieces. Tasted. Decided that I was too nervous that I would screw the seasoning up, so I limited them to salt and Penzey’s Florida Pepper, because it is one of my favorite spices. (Besides, every time Trump does something stupid they have a promotion so I have accumulated a lot of spices I am trying to figure out how to use.)
Simmered a little while more so the corn could cook a little bit and the flavors could cozy up. Meanwhile, I placed a couple of ice cubes in a glass. Filled it halfway with chilled white wine. It gets topped off with ginger beer. This goes into the cook, not into the soup. It may not be everybody’s cup of tea — or glass of wine — but I like it.
Railfan and I ate the soup with shredded cheddar and sour cream (and in my case hot sauce). It was very tasty — good enough I will probably make it again. (I will play around with the seasonings — it probably could use parsley.) This also means that, with the Vidalia onion soup I made a few days ago I made soup (that was not chili) from scratch twice in a week.