Saturday Suppers: Corn Chowder

The weather has been unseasonably cold lately, even for New England.  The meteorologist on the local news recently showed average historical temperatures for the Boston area and apparently we are experiencing January cold in November.  Some how knowing this makes it seem colder.

Cold weather seasonable or unseasonable makes me want to nest, bake and cook until spring.  I think of hot buttery rolls and soups, stews and chowder.  One of my mother’s classic cold weather standbys was New England Corn Chowder or Chowdah as we are known for saying.

The last time I made any my mother was alive and I could ask her how to make it.  So after consulting with one of my sisters who doesn’t make it but confirmed what I remembered of Mom’s chowder, I headed to my kitchen.

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Ingredients for my corn chowder.

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About 3 lbs. of Potatoes stacked up ready to be peeled.

While peeling the potatoes, I decided to use all 5 lbs. in the bag.

While peeling, I decided to use 5 lbs. of potatoes.

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Cut the potatoes into about 1 inch cubes.

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Place in stockpot in salted water to parboil. Potatoes should be firm like for potato salad not mashed potatoes.

In full disclosure, I overcooked my potatoes; I was tempted to make mashed potatoes out of this batch but I don’t have enough potatoes in my pantry to then make chowder.  That is what I get for trying to start this post while the potatoes were on the stove.  All is not lost, normally I would transfer the potatoes back into the stock pot after draining and add the corn, milk and other ingredients to the potatoes.  Instead I gave the potatoes a cold bath to stop the cooking process, set them aside and added them in at the end.

If you look closely you may be able to see that the potatoes are overdooked.

If you look closely you may be able to see that the potatoes are overcooked.

Clean and dice about six stalks of celery.

Clean and dice about six stalks of celery.

Set the diced celery aside.

Set the diced celery aside.

Chop two onions, I prefer a coarse chop.

Chop two onions, I prefer a coarse chop.

In a sauté pan, heat 2 Tbsp. of olive oil with 2 Tbsp. of butter.

In a sauté pan, heat 2 Tbsp. of olive oil with 2 Tbsp. of butter.  Some people just use oil but like Chef Didier I know the secret to life is butter.

 

Sweat celery in sauté pan for a few minutes.

Add onion and sweat vegetables together.

When celery and onion are finished sweating set aside.

In stockpot add 2 cans of creamed style corn

in stockpot add 2 cans of creamed style corn

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Add milk to corn in stock pot; I started with 4 cups. Stir corn and milk together and simmer.

 

Add celery and onions.

Add celery and onions to simmering corn and milk.

I decided that the chowder needed more corn. I sautéed 2.5 cups of frozen corn in 2 Tbsp. of butter.

Chowder is done after I added 2 more cups of milk , 1 Tbsp. butter and potatoes.

The finished product.

Recipe Summary:

Ingredients

  • 5 lbs. of potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 cans creamed style corn
  • 6 cups milk
  • 6 stalks celery, sliced
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups frozen corn
  • 2 Tbsps. olive oil
  • 5 Tbsps. butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Directions

  • Parboil potatoes.  See photo captions if like me you overcook potatoes.
  • Drain potatoes.  Add creamed style corn and milk and simmer.
  • Sweat celery and onions in olive oil and butter.
  • Add to stockpot and continue simmering.
  • Sauté frozen corn in 2 Tbsps. butter and add to stockpot.
  • Add 1 Tbsp.. butter and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Simmer until potatoes are tender.

My batch of corn chowder came out good but missing something.   In hindsight, I am positive my mom used bay leaves in her chowder and possibly sage.  I am going to have to check with my other sister and adapt my recipe.

2 thoughts on “Saturday Suppers: Corn Chowder

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