Sunday, October 04, 2009

Last of the Summer Corn

Growing up in NYC in the 60s/70s, fresh corn on the cob was a rare treat.
Not only were there no local green markets, supermarkets didn't have links to local farms, so the corn they did sell in the store was likely to be days old. And unlike the hybrids of today, the corn being sold converted its sugars to starch quickly. By the time you cooked it, it wasn't very sweet.

So sweet corn was confined to the rare times we went to "Angelo's Farm", a farm stand near my mom's childhood home in Mohican Colony, New York (near Peekskill) and to the week we spent at Lake Taghanic State park up in Columbia County. And as we grew older, to the week we spent on Cape Cod.

My girls, on the other hand can get fresh, supersweet corn from a local farmer's market weekly. And if I do miss the market, area supermarkets bring in local corn that is nearly as good.

And as a result, by September, the girls are no longer thrilled to eat corn. And the last batch I bought a few weeks ago wasn't as good anyway. Corn season was over. So I cut the kernels off the remaining ears, froze them, and tonight got them out to make a soup that is one of SC's favorites.

It's based on a Weight Watcher's recipe, but I've tweaked it a bit. It's still healthy and may even be healthier than the original and is easy to make.

Frozen corn is fine if you don't have any fresh corn. You can use any color peppers and even use frozen pepper strips. Red, yellow or orange peppers are much sweeter and healthier for you than green peppers, BTW. The green means they're unripe and from what I read, Europeans don't even bother to use them that way!

The turkey bacon is great if you have it--it adds a nice smoky touch--but I didn't have any tonight and SC ate two bowls anyway. And one of these days I am going to get some before she eats it all, toss in some crab meat and a splash of Tabasco and FEAST!

Corn Chowder

1/2 onion--chopped (I use frozen chopped onion)
1/2 pepper--chopped. (Red looks prettiest. You can also use frozen pepper strips--snap them into bits)
2 1/2 cups chicken stock (You can also use veggie stock. I use Minor's Chicken base)
2 potatoes--diced
2 cups corn kernels--fresh or frozen
1/2 cup half&half
2 slices turkey bacon--cooked and diced (optional)

Spray the bottom of a 4 quart pot with cooking spray. Toss in the onions and pepper and cook to soften. If you are using fresh veggies, add a tablespoon or two of water to help them cook.

Add the diced potatoes and the stock. Bring to a boil, then let simmer until the potatoes are cooked (15-20 minutes). Then add the corn and cook for 5 more minutes.

Remove 2 cups of the soup--try to remove as little of the pepper as possible. Puree the removed soup in a food processor/blender until smooth and return it to the pot. Stir to mix thoroughly.

Turn off the heat. Add the half and half and blend it well. Serve with or without added turkey bacon bits.

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