Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Guest Post: Corn & Potato Chowder

MV Banks made us an amazing Kale, Mushroom & Sage Risotto a couple months ago and now she's back with delicious Corn & Potato Chowder!
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The Ravens won, and life is grand.  However, I'm not sure I could eat one more bite of anything spiced with Old Bay, one more seven-layer-dip, or guacamole.  I love avocados more than life itself, but after a prolonged football season, I need a break.  With the cold weather that's swung back in town, what you need is a good, hearty soup that'll stick to your ribs and take extra miles on the treadmill to burn off.  Enjoy the warmth of standing over a toasty stove while there's more snow forecast for the week.

Sometimes my recipe inspiration comes from Tastespotting, a dangerous but wonderful food porn site.  Other days, I turn to Google and just type in what's going bad soon in my kitchen, allowing the handy "recipe" search to find my dinner for me.  Today, it brought me here, and I edited it ever-so-slightly.  I love soup, because it really can so easily become a haven for all things looking questionable.

 
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients
One (1) medium onion
Four (4) medium potatoes
One (1) can of whole kernel corn
Three (3) cups of vegetable stock
One (1) cup of sour cream or Greek yogurt 
Two (2) teaspoons of thyme
2-3 tablespoons of Olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions
Peel and dice your potatoes.  Alternatively you could just scrub them really well and dice them, leaving the skins on.  Skins are full of nutrients, so get your fiber on and leave the skin!

Dice your onion, with tissues on hand.
Sauté your onion and potatoes in a large pot (Dutch oven preferred), about five minutes, until the onions are translucent.  Keep the tissues nearby if you don't have a Dutch Oven, as that is cause for tears.
Drain and rinse your can of corn kernels.  Add them to the pot and sauté another five minutes.
Add salt and thyme to taste.  Warning: it's incredibly easy to go overboard on both salt and thyme.  Learn from my mistakes.  Less is more.

Add the vegetable stock and simmer for about ten minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
Remove your pot from the heat and let it cool for about ten to fifteen minutes so that your dairy doesn't curdle when you incorporate it.  
Then stir in your sour cream/Greek yogurt.  It will not be a pretty sight, but power through and taste test to see what else you may need to add.  
Ladle into a bowl and eat until you are pleasantly stuffed with potatoes and dairy.
 
Tips
I thought that by omitting bacon, I'd have to salt this up.  Don't be like me.  Stick to smaller amounts of salt so you don't feel like you're eating a melted salt lick.  I also found that by making this in olive oil instead of the requisite bacon grease, the final product is a little thin, as opposed to a thicker, heartier chowder. Doctor it with Parmesan cheese (my preference) or some cornmeal.  

 
MV spends her time destressing in her kitchen while listening to dorky podcasts like This American Life and The New Yorker Fiction, and having one-sided conversations with her dog.  She can be found highlighting events for the Baltimore Fishbowl, finding the best of Baltimore Craigslist once a week for The City that Breeds, and giving newcomers suggestions of what to do in Charm City at her blog, So You’re New to Bmore.  By day, she works at a nonprofit. Follow her on Twitter, if you’re so inclined, at @banksmv.