6 thick strips meaty Applewood smoked bacon, cut to 1 inch lengths, trim off some of the larger sections of fat
1 t olive oil
2 cups medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
2 (15 oz) cans creamed corn
1 (11 oz) can sweet corn, drained
4 cups red potatoes, skin on, chopped to fit on the spoon size chunks
2 cups whole or 2% milk
2 cups chicken stock, unsalted is always good, add salt later if you need to
2 T fresh parsley, rinsed, dried, and chopped
1 t thyme
6 drops Tabasco sauce
Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
2 T butter
2 scant T flour
1/4 cup heavy cream
Spoon Mage™ Note:
The Chowder already up on this website feeds a crowd. When it’s just the family, you could just cut everything down by half and be fine. This time I wanted to make a more filling version that was just as comfort food tasty. This variation is perfect for 4-6 depending upon the size of your bowls and appetites.
I use Green Giant corn. If you live in some glorious place like Central Illinois and have access to the best sweet corn in the world, do use that. The rest of us will just dream of such things.
Prep all the ingredients except butter, flour, and heavy cream. Cover the potatoes with some cold water.
In a large pot set over medium, add the bacon pieces and olive oil. Sauté the bacon until the pieces are well browned.
Add the onion and celery, sautéing until the onion bits are softened. As the vegetables exude their liquids, scrape the bottom of the pot to stir up the delicious brown bits.
Add the creamed and sweet corn, drained potatoes, milk, stock, parsley, thyme, Tabasco, and black pepper (start with about 1/4 t and then add later if you prefer more pepper).
Bring to a low simmer and cover. Cook for 1 hour, stirring frequently. Do not let the soup boil.
About halfway into the simmer time, melt the butter in a small pan that has been set over medium heat. When the butter is melty and bubbly, add the flour. Stir well to incorporate, smashing lumps.
Now stir constantly – yes constantly. Let someone else answer the phone or your flour will burn and you will have to start over. Keep stirring until the roux starts to change color. First it will be a lovely blonde. Then it will turn into a gorgeous caramel. This is worth taking the time to do. Caramel roux adds wonderful flavor and a lovely bit of color to the chowder. At this point remove it from the heat. Stir it a few minutes to reduce the temperature of the roux just a bit.
Add the roux and cream to the chowder. Stir well. Recover and cook for about 20-30 minutes. Stir every now and then. Taste after 10 minutes to determine if you need more pepper. If you used unsalted stock, you might want to add a twist of salt now.
Serve as is, or add hot red pepper flakes.