Sunday, September 4, 2011

Mellow Yellow

I finally took some pictures of the 3rd batch of corn chowder I've made this summer. The first batch had those awful tomatillos....nah, it wasn't that bad, but I could see (I mean taste) the possibilities. The second batch was so dang yummy and it disappeared so quick I knew I'd have to make another a.s.a.p. Good thing so I could have another chance to take pictures and make slight adjustments to the recipe. Adjustments? Well, if you cook like I do, as good as a recipe turns out you never really repeat it exactly, always trying to make it better or different in some way.

All three corn chowder soups started with homemade stocks made in my pressure cooker. I used the corn cobs with my veggies and meat bones, the first two times I used pork, and this last time I used chicken. Alot of times when I make stocks I cook the meat at the same time, seperate from the finished recipe. For instance I added about 10 chicken thighs to my corn cob/veggies, brought the pressure to high and cooked the chicken for 10-15 minutes. I then release the pressure, take out the thighs, let them cool for a few minutes, harvest the meat from the bones (I just pull it off!), put the bones back in the PC, bring the pressure back to high and cook the chicken bones, cobs, veggies for another 25-45 minutes. The longer you cook it the richer if gets. I'll put the meat back in after the rest of the soup is made. (same with pork or lamb or any kind of meat I use that has a bone in it)

Seems like alot of work? It's really not. The exact timing is not that important, I don't have to measure anything, I don't have to cut anything, and in fact I just throw the chicken thighs in skin, bone and all. The hardest part is at the end when I have to strain the stock, wait for it to cool and then put it in the fridge. One of the advantages of doing it like this is that I can easily lift the cold fat that floats to the top the next day. It is time consuming but not "work consuming". Besides using corn stock bumps up the corn flavor so much it's worth it....all from cobs you would normally throw out.

I made the stock and cooked the chicken Friday night knowing I would be going to the farmers market on Sat. What I needed, besides corn, was more yellow veggies to help make my chowder thick without using potatoes, cream, or more corn! (corn is a strachy veg and I count it nutritionally as a grain) I chose yellow chard, just the stems, yellow bell, and Maribel gave me a couple of yellow squash from her garden, but the veggie that was going to thicken up my chower was carrots. Of course I used my usual onion, celery and jalapeno but I knew those would not affect the color of my chowder. No red bells, no greens, not even red pepper flakes! (I used the whole jalapeno, seeds, ribs and all....hoo'ee! Spicy!)

Two weeks left and then the corn will be gone, the season over.....I think this corn chowder will be my "tomato soup" of the past three years! (I haven't made one stinkin' batch of tomato soup yet and it's Sept!)

This soup is so good, every bit as good as the last batch and better! I'll post the basic recipe tomorrow or the next day.


Maribel said...

You have me craving corn chowder now!

I get such satisfaction making my own stock. It's dirt cheap and so good! When i bake a whole chicken, I always save the bones and use those for stock also.

Tracy Reifkind said...


Even before the PC I made all of my own stocks. I haven't paid for any in years and never need.

I think I wrote a blogpost about the difference. I find traditional stocks, simmered for 6-12 hours are much richer, gelatinous and darker, crazy flavorful. But those are made with lbs and lbs of bones in a 12 qt pot. Can't get 6-8lbs of bones in a 8 qt PC!

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