So a couple of friends and I have recently started a little tradition to do “family dinners”. Which is really just three of us that live a couple blocks apart making an effort to get together every Sunday for dinner and some bad TV (or movies) and just hang out for a little bit on a Sunday night.
This Sunday I was particularly excited because my friend, Case, decided to make Corn and Sausage Chowder, which might sound a little odd but is actually quite delicious. Now, Case calls himself a Kansas cooker and I love it cause he just throws all sorts of random stuff in the pot and it just works. He claims he got this from his mother who would make them help her out as kids by finding stuff in the kitchen that they thought would be good in a soup. I adore Corn Chowder but I have never ever made it nor did I have any clue how until last night, which makes no sense because it falls into that Southern Comfort food category which I just adore. Though for some reason I’m more of a French cooker… like my bible is the Larousse Gastronomique, has been since I ever set foot in a kitchen. I do things like souffle and mousse and braised short ribs (which is on the menu for next weekend). It makes no sense coming from an Indian girl born and raised in Texas. You’d think I’d know how to do good Southern Comfort food or at least Indian food. But no, I’ve got nothin’ on either of those. However, you want me to make you souffle or risotto or anything that involves heavy cream, I’m your girl. Example, next week is my turn for dinner and I’m doing braised short ribs in a sauerkraut sauce over swiss chard, crunchy green beans with almonds & garlic and either pureed potatoes or polenta with mushrooms. Oh and lemon souffle with fresh raspberries to finish. (Well ok the raspberries might not be in season, I forget I am not in Texas and can’t get whatever I want whenever I want pretty much all year round but definitely the souffle).
That being said, I was just stunned at how simple, easy and delicious corn chowder is! Now we made enough soup for a small army (note there are only 3 of us eating this soup, we had enough leftovers for the rest of the week for all of us) but here is the recipe as follows:
Corn & Sausage Chowder
1 qt half/half
2 large-ish russet potatoes
3 bell peppers (in any colors you’d like, we had red & green)
1 large onion
1 can creamed sweet corn
2 cans sweet whole kernel corn
2 large sausages
1 bag flour
and any other seasonings you’d like
(feel free to leave out the sausages and add other miscellaneous veggies as you’d like)
Slice one potato into very thin slices and then dice the other one into 1/4″ cubes. Throw the sliced potato into a very very large pot half filled with water and turn on to boil.
Dice all other vegetables and sausage. Put sausage into a large saucepan and brown. Let cook for about 2-5mins. After that add in the onions. Let those cook until they look somewhat clear. Then add in all the other veggies and saute for another 10-15mins. Once the veggies look just tender.
Pour all the ingredients from the saucepan into the pot of boiling water. Add in about 3/4-1qt heavy cream. Add in all the cans of corn.
In a separate bowl mix together water and flour until smooth. As the soup cooks and you want it to thicken add in the flour-water mixture. Repeat this step as many times as necessary to get the soup to the consistency that you’d like – the thicker you want it the more flour-water mix you should add.
Add in salt & pepper generously to taste. We put in cayenne pepper, garlic salt, all spice and something else. But the spices can be just about anything based on what you like and what you want in it. Also I like to think a little splash of beer gives it some good character. Keep on relatively high heat and check on it every few minutes, stir as necessary.
The whole process takes about an hour to make. It’s really not bad and it’s an excellent meal. Especially in the winter when it’s super cold outside. It was pretty perfect for yesterday.