Corn Chowder with Fresh Corn

Does the idea of corn chowder in July seem gross?  Not to me.  It was rainy and cool this weekend, even though the humidity was disgusting.  And on Saturday things continued to go awry, and I needed a comforting meal

First, a tomato jar cracked in the canner.

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Then I read the world’s most disturbing book and had to donate it to the library because I could not be in its presence.

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(Gillian Flynn’s Dark Places.  Do not recommend.  Should have burned it.)

And my cranberry cosmos are PINK.  See the small one in the middle.  Fuchsia!

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So here is my recipe for a very tasty corn chowder.  It uses plenty of things that are in season now through frost.  It would be probably be better in October.  I served it with stuffed cherry peppers using this recipe.  The children were not interested in either, so I rounded out the meal with bread and some watermelon from the garden, which is coming in at last.

 Corn Chowder with Fresh Corn:

(Loosely adapted from Cook’s Country)

You will need:

6 ears fresh corn, raw and cut off the cob

1 15 oz can creamed corn

5 cups chicken broth or stock

6 slices bacon, finely chopped

1 medium onion, finely choped

1 small green pepper, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 lb. red potatoes, scrubbed and diced

1 cup heavy cream

  1.  Cook  the bacon in a large pot or Dutch oven until crisp.  Remove to a paper towel to drain, leaving the bacon fat in the pot.
  2. Add the corn kernels, diced onion, diced pepper, and salt and black pepper to the bacon fat.  Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes, until onions and peppers are soft.
  3. Add the diced potatoes and chicken broth.  Bring pot to a boil over high heat.  Cover, reduce to simmer, and allow potatoes to cook, about 10-15 minutes.  Poke with a fork to make sure they are tender.  Add the cream and the cooked bacon, heat over medium until heated through.
  4. Serve with freshly ground pepper on top.  (I know most recipes say this, but it really improves the flavor here!)

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Have a good week!


Slow Cooker Beef Chili

My daughters will both eat this, which shocks me, and it’s my husband’s favorite recipe. It seems just very basic and plain, but the flavor is very good! No weird stuff to repel children, all prep done ahead of time, and it freezes very well for up to two months. I adapted it from America’s Test Kitchen: Slow Cooker Revolution.

I like to make it on my baking day, when I cook and bake ahead as much as I can for the week. I am usually cooking bacon to stash in the fridge, so I have a skillet of bacon grease available.  It makes a lot, so I usually serve half and freeze half in a gallon freezer bag.

You will need:

2 slices white bread or hamburger buns, torn into quarters

1/4 cup milk

2 lbs ground beef, 90% lean if available

3 tablespoons bacon grease (or vegetable oil)

3 onions, finely minced

1/4 cup chili powder

6 garlic cloves, pressed

1 tablespoon cumin

1 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes

1 15 oz can of kidney beans or whole pinto beans, rinsed

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 teaspoons of canned chiles in adobo sauce, finely minced

1/2 of a bottle of beer

Directions:

1. Using a fork, mash bread and milk into a paste in a large mixing bowl. Then using hands, Mix in ground beef, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.

2. Heat bacon grease or oil in a large skillet. Add onions, chili powder, oregano, cumin, and red pepper flakes, and cook on medium heat until the onions begin to soften, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 4 minutes more, until the onions are browned.

3. Add the beef mixture to the hot skillet, 1 pound at a time, breaking up into small pieces, and cook until no longer pink. Add half a can of crushed tomatoes, scraping pan to get any browned bits.

4. Pour contents of skillet into slow cooker. Add remaining crushed tomatoes, beans, soy sauce, sugar, diced canned chiles in adobo sauce, and beer. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

5. Serve with diced tomato, sour cream, cheese, and crushed tortilla chips.

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