Fresh Corn Chowder (Light Version)

Oh how I have missed you all!  After my dog passed away I was having some trouble getting back into the swing of things.  First I had to deal with the stress of the loss, then we picked up a new dog only 3 days later, then Chicago had a major heat wave, and then I had an allergic reaction to Gatorade (ugh).  Needless to say, cooking (and eating) wasn’t my top priority.  Even in my absence all I can think about is what I can make to entice you all to come back and read my blog, even though i’m sure a one week hiatus didn’t frighten anyone away.  I must admit, clearing out my e-mail box of over 700 posts certainly made me realize I cannot be gone this long ever again!  Before I begin my post, meet my new pup!  It certainly doesn’t get rid of the pain of the loss of Cali, but it at least helps divert the mind a bit.  This is Molly, our 2 year old rescued Lab/Retriever Mix –

She is an absolute sweet heart and has made our home whole again.  Anyhooo, onto what you came here for..FOOD!

I know what some may be thinking, why chowder after I just mentioned I just finished up a treacherous heat wave.  Well, my intentions were to use my grill to make this chowder.  I wanted to grill up fresh corn, potatoes, peppers, onions, garlic and make the soup on the grill entirely.  I went and turned on my grill to heat up while I cut up my vegetables inside.  I go outside to grill my corn – grill was off.  I was out of propane.  Grill fail….  I already had all my vegetables cut up and ready to go, I couldn’t change my mind now.  I could have easily gone and get more propane, but I was ready to cook darnit! So I had to take it inside and make regular ol’ chowder.  Unspecial..On-the-stove..chowder.  It was delicious and lighter than a regular chowder, so that’s how I will make it appeal to you.  Did it work?

Light Corn Chowder

  • 3 ears of corn, boiled (should have been grilled, sigh)
  • 3 potatoes, unpeeled, diced
  • 1 medium onion, small dice
  • 1 green pepper, small dice
  • 2 gloves garlic, chopped
  • Fresh thyme
  • 3 cups light cream (or 2% milk, or skim)
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil for sauteing
  • Ham base (optional)
  • Garnish Options – corn kernals, raw green pepper, cheddar cheese, small diced ham

First, prep your corn.  I husked mine and boiled them just to bring out some of the nice vibrant yellow color.  Let cool while prepping the rest.  Dice up your potatoes, green pepper, onion, garlic and put into a cast iron skillet (or pot, your choice) with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil.  Cook until the potatoes are almost fork tender, but not quite.  Stand the corn upright onto a cutting board or plate.  With a sharp kitchen knife slice off the kernels, but key point – do not cut all the way to the bottom of the kernel, only cut half of the kernel off.  Next, flip your knife so the sharp point is pointing out, and scrape the rest off.  This gets all corn out, but also “milks” the corn and gets that nice fresh creamy corn flavor.

Add corn to skillet and mix well.  Let the corn cook with the other ingredients just to allow the flavors to blend.  Next add cream (or milk) just to cover the vegetables.  Add thyme, and seasonings.  Once it starts to bubble a bit, reduce heat to simmer and allow to simmer until it thickens.  Add ham or chicken base if desired once its hot enough to dissolve.   If you picked a cream or milk that has little to no fat, you may need to end up using a cornstarch to let it thicken further.  The potatoes help thicken a bit, but may not do the entire trick as full fat milk or cream would do. Once the potatoes are fully cooked and you reach the desired thickness, serve up with garnish of your choice and some toasty bread.  I used a little bit of reduced fat cheddar, raw peppers, and tiny bits of ham.