Is something organic if it is shipped across the country? What about the fuel that is used and how that affects our environment, not to mention the freshness of the food and a myriad of other factors. Over the last few years i have been reading everything i can get my hands on to help me answer these and other questions so sit back, relax and explore where my quest has taken me thus far.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Chowder Head!

Hello fellow food passionistas.  I am hoping that everyone is well on this delightfully chilly weekend.  We missed our weekly farmers market but were able to stop at our little local healthy grocery store to get some provisions.  Oddly enough there were ears of corn which looked to be pretty good so we got some and today I tried my hand at a nice fresh corn chowder.  Since it is a milk based soup I used my slow cooker to avoid having the milk burn at the bottom of the pot.  For starters I have never tried corn chowder so this was a complete shot in the dark but as always it was a fun little adventure and of course turned into a great meal.  I consulted a couple of web recipes and came up with a hybrid recipe based on the ingredients that were available at home today.  

1-1/2 C skim milk
1 C heavy cream (if you want a flavorful and filling soup do it right- use the cream)
2 cubes of chicken stock*

3-5 ears of corn (de-cobbed)
1 cup baby carrots chopped small

2 celery stalks chopped small
1-2 shallots chopped small

1 Medium potato chopped small

Thyme (sprinkle lightly on top)

Kosher salt (to taste)

black pepper (to taste)

It was simple, put the milk and cream into the pot and chop everything up very small and add to the base.  Let it cook low and slow for 6 or more hours, stirring and tasting as the day wears on.  Many times people (including myself at times) will try their hand at a great soup recipe that they experienced while eating out but will substitute "diet" type foods (i.e. all skim milk instead of the cream) and wonder what happened to the flavor and texture of the recipe.  Flavorful food needs the correct ingredients, using a substitute will not get you to where you want to go.  I have been there, I have tried it and can tell you first hand you will end up with a product that is only partly half what you were aiming for.  Of course all good things should be enjoyed in moderation which is the balance I strive for continually. 

*For the chicken stock I made a batch of it previously and froze some in and ice cube tray so i had them at my disposal for cooking.  (I also did this with pesto, now I can have a fresh pesto dish on a moments notice!)

Bon Appetite!

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