I don’t know about you, but this time of the year I have to have my sweet corn. When I was young my mom was friends with a couple who had, what we called then a truck farm. That meant it wasn’t a huge commercial farm; they grew what they thought they could sell at the farmer’s market with some left over for themselves.
In those days, I got used to really, really, fresh corn. We’d go out into the field and pick our ears and if anything so much as falling and dropping the ears on the ground were to happen they would already be too “old” to be eaten as if they were “fresh” and someone would run back to the field to get more to be tossed into the boiling water and eaten right there — at the farm.
I no longer have access to ‘fresh’ corn. If I see a farm stand along the road I know it may be fresher than what you get in the store but even that is ‘old’ corn compared to what I grew up with — for every moment off the stalk the sugars in the corn are turning to starches.
Summer Corn Chowder
- 8 ears fresh sweet yellow corn, husked and silks removed and kernels cut from cob
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 5 slices bacon, cut into 1/4 to 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped (1 1/2 cups)
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 5 cups water
- 1 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup half and half
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 2 – 3 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
- Shredded cheddar cheese, for serving (optional)
- Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and bacon and cook, stirring frequently, until onion has softened and just starting to brown around edges, about 8 – 10 minutes. Add in the flour and garlic and cook 1 1/2 minutes. While whisking, slowly pour in 5 cups water. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, then stir in corn kernels and potatoes. Add in thyme and bay leaf and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a light boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
- Transfer 2 1/2 cups of the chowder to a blender and blend until smooth. Stir the mixture back into the pot then stir in half and half and honey. Sprinkle each serving with chives and optional cheddar.
- Recipe source: adapted from Cooks Illustrated via Tracy’s Culinary Adventures