|Name:||Corn Chowder||Contributor:||Diana Tracy|
|Key words:||SCA, stew, corn||Category:||Soups|
|Ingredients:||4 leeks, cleaned and sliced
3 c of sliced and rinsed (not peeled) fingerling spuds
5 ears of corn
(2 c of summer squash, if you want)
5 c chicken broth
3/4 c of dryish white wine
8 slices of bacon
Fresh thyme and rosemary to taste
A cup or so of cooked chicken, if you want
Grated romano cheese
|Preparation:||Clean and slice leeks.
Slice and rinse (not peeled) fingerling spuds.
Steam the corn and remove kernels from ears.
Fry up bacon, drain and break into small pieces.
Drain off almost all of the fat, and then saute the leeks until soft.
Add white wine, and braise until leeks are very soft.
Transfer into a biggish pot, and add chicken broth, spuds, summer squash, fresh spices. Simmer until spuds are soft.
Add corn and bacon bits. Simmer about 20-30 min.
Serve with grated romano on the table, and good dunking bread.
Proportions may vary depending on what you've got in the garden (:-)
Last weekend, we went camping (SCA event. It was *very* wet). For Friday dinner, I did a beef stew in bread bowls. It was a big hit :). Overall, I was pleased with it, but I thought the stew could use a little something more, to make it really have a zing. I used the time-honored recipe of beef, potatoes, onions, celery, carrots, some bay leaves, and bullion. I do know that part of the reason it was a tiny bit bland is that I used no salt (several folks eating it had sodium restrictions, and I never cook with salt anyway). But I'm wanting to experiment with other spices, to see if I can come up with a really great low-sodium stew :). I'm planning on trying some marjoram, possibly thyme, or maybe rosemary. Any other ideas?
Making the stew a bit more acid (a tiny touch of nice vinegar (such as sherry; you don't want to be able to taste it...), or red wine changes the pH, and makes more of the brighter notes of the veggies more noticeable. Adding the spices 1/2 hour before serving will preserve some of the essential oils (low boiling point; disappear soon). Whole spices put in earlier yield a different flavor profile (and because they're whole, give up their essential oils much more slowly). Hence the bouquet garni; typically thyme, parsley, rosemary for beef stew works very well. Sauteing the onion and garlic after browning the meat makes the alliums sweeter. Adding a bit of "Kitchen Bouquet", a caramel coloring/flavoring liquid (my mom used it often; I just found it again, and now keep it in my stable of enhancers) can also brighten things. Finally, a bit of soy sauce, or a couple of Tbsp of tomato paste (both are great sources of free glutamates which are wonderful flavor enhancers), can turn the trick.
Too soon in my paradigm for beef stew, but corn chowder, mmmmmm!