Corn chowder

We came home from upstate last night with a bag of carrots and a thermos full of milk.  (No I was not milking the neighbor’s cows–even though Ferdinand was insisting that their proximity to our tent made for a great opportunity.)  In the fridge I had celery hearts and four ears of corn.  The beauty of corn chowder is that if you know how to saute your vegetables, you can create your own stock that creates a richness on its own without the heavy cream.  I have had corn chowder on the brain, ever since my brother in law came to visit.  He had been taken out to one of those restaurants that depress me to think about, only because I would give my eye teeth to go, but forsee at least another sixteen to twenty seven years before it’s in my budget to get a cake from the dessert cart at the bar with a seltzer, let alone a seat in the dining room with an entree.  I grilled him about what he ate–I would have asked him how the napkins smelled, and what music they were playing, but that kind of obsession gets embarrassing.  He said for about $96 a bowl he had a corn chowder that was infused with corn subtleties that he had never experienced.  When he asked the waiter, he was told that the husks and cobs all get thrown in the pot.  AHHAA!

The 96 cent version:

Saute in olive oil with a tablespoon of unsalted butter, one finely chopped onion, two finely chopped carrots, and the inside stalks from a head of celery (finely chopped) with one finely chopped shallot, a bay leaf and a few sprigs of thyme.  Give it all a short grind of black pepper and a few pinches of kosher salt.  Let this go, stirring every once in a while–and never leaving the room, so that you can smell disaster before it starts–until it is completely softened.  Now cut up a few small or 1 large yukon potatoe(s), with skins into about 1/2 inch cubes, and add those to the pot.  At this point, turn the flame down, and you want to avoid stirring for a few minutes, so that the potatoes have  a chance to stick to the bottom of the pot.  Once they are stuck, give them a stir and add just enough water to cover the potatoes.  Cut the corn from 4 to 5 cobs of corn.  Add that along with a few of the rinsed husks and two cobs.  Cover the pot and simmer until the potatoes are nearly tender.  Remove the husks and the cobs.  Now add about a cup of milk or to taste.  Season with salt and little more pepper.  If you like, add a little chopped, fresh parsley right at the end.  That’s it.  This is delicious served with homemade biscuits.

PS  Plan A for the show is taking awhile.  It can be hard to accept that the world has 5 million things to do before they consider OUR NEW SHOW, but that’s the beauty of Plan B.  Kelie and I have moved onto a whole new list of people to send the show to as well as a search for a corporate sponsor so that we can produce the show ourselves if we have to.  I have never not produced whatever I have done myself, so what’s one more…

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