Creamy Homestyle Corn Chowder Recipe

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Small casserole filled with golden corn chowder accompanied by homemade rolls
Corn Chowder

Late summer brings some wonderful flavors and that includes corn. After a few “feeds” of corn-on-the-cob, I am ready to have the veggie served in other ways, like in this Creamy Homestyle Corn Chowder. Pure comfort food at its finest and nothing compares to the homemade version!

Corn Chowder is not difficult to make though there are steps involved and it does take a bit of time but, oh, the flavor is incomparable!

While corn chowder can be made with frozen corn kernels, the chowder really is at its ultimate when made with kernels stripped from freshly picked corn and the cobs then used to add wonderful flavor to the poultry stock base. Use your favorite variety of corn – peaches and cream or sweet yellow corn work well, for example. The chowder in the photos that accompany this posting was made with peaches and cream corn and the beautiful golden yellow color is all natural.

Casserole filled with golden corn chowder
Creamy Homestyle Corn Chowder

Once the kernels are stripped from the cobs with a sharp knife, the cobs are added to the poultry stock in a stockpot. There is a lot of flavor to be had from those cobs! I like to use my own homemade turkey or chicken stock as the base though bought stock may also be used. Letting the stripped cobs simmer away in the stock will really add more corn flavor to the chowder.

Chowders are all about layering in flavor. My recipe does not call for a large quantity of any one spice. Rather, the chowder is gently flavored with select spices, none of which detract from the pure corn flavor.

I save the rinds from parmesan cheese and keep them in the freezer. When I am making certain chowders, like this Corn Chowder, for example, in which I am going to be adding parmesan cheese as an ingredient, I will add a 2½” – 3” piece of rind to the stock as it cooks because it does impart wonderful flavor. The chowder stock can be made without the cheese rind but, if you have one, toss it in the pot.

Bowl of corn chowder with two homemade rolls
Creamy Homestyle Corn Chowder

The usual cast of characters are used for the aromatics — onion, celery, carrot, sweet pepper, and garlic – and, when sautéed in some bacon fat and butter, they certainly add to the flavor base. The crisply fried bacon from which the fat has been rendered is a great garnish for the chowder. Some recipes call for the bacon to be incorporated into the chowder and that can certainly be done. I, however, prefer to simply add it as a garnish.

Adding diced potato to corn chowder is a perfect way to add bulk and chunkiness to the texture but be sure to use potatoes that will hold their shape when cooked and not become mushy. I tend to lean toward Yukon Gold or Red Norlands for chowders though other varieties may work well, too. Just cook the potatoes, along with the corn kernels, in the stock mixture until the potatoes are barely fork tender.

I use cornstarch (versus flour) as the thickening agent for the Corn Chowder because cornstarch is gluten free for those who, for various reasons, cannot tolerate gluten, and also because I find it makes a lovely smooth textured chowder and there is no starchy or pasty taste that can sometimes happen when flour is used as the thickener.

A good portion of the cooked mixture is puréed in a blender until it is silky smooth and then is poured back into the stockpot with the remaining vegetable and stock mixture. This gives the chowder the velvety smooth textured base but, by leaving some of the mixture in its chunky state, it provides that homestyle, hearty texture.

Bowl filled with Corn Chowder
Creamy Homestyle Corn Chowder

A wee bit of sweetness to complement the corn is obtained by adding just a small amount of maple syrup.

I do not recommend fat-reduced dairy products for chowders. No…..just don’t do it as they tend to make a thinner, more watery base. A good chowder should be rich and creamy and that can really only be obtained by using the good stuff — yes, cream!

Now, there are various degrees of cream – I find I get a great corn chowder from using 10% blend cream mixed with some sour cream which has a bit of tang to it. Higher percentage creams, up to and including whipping cream, also work in the chowder so, go crazy with the cream if you wish! Add some shredded cheddar cheese and grated parmesan cheese for an even richer flavored chowder – oh-là-là! All that’s needed for a satisfying meal would be homemade rolls. Either my pan rolls or dinner rolls are ideal with this chowder.

The wonderful thing about corn (apart from its lovely flavor) is that it is a vegetable that enjoys a relatively long season from August well into the fall. So, don’t miss out on the opportunity to make a delicious Corn Chowder from the fresh corn when it is available locally.

Spoonful of creamy corn chowder
Corn Chowder

[Printable recipe follows at end of posting]

Creamy Homestyle Corn Chowder

Ingredients:

3 cups corn kernels (apx. 3 – 4 large corn cobs)

5 cups poultry stock (chicken or turkey)
1 large bay leaf
¼ tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp dried dill
1/8 tsp dried summer savory
Pinch cayenne
Pinch curry powder
2½” – 3” piece parmesan cheese rind (optional)

4 slices bacon, fried crisp
2-3 tbsp butter
2/3 cup onion, diced small
½ cup celery, finely chopped
1/3 cup carrot, diced small
¼ cup red pepper, finely chopped
4-6 garlic cloves, minced

½ lb Yukon Gold or red potato, diced into ¼“ pieces

2½ tbsp cornstarch

1 tbsp maple syrup
1 cup 10% blend cream, room temperature
2 tbsp sour cream, room temperature
2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tbsp finely grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste

Fresh chives or parsley for garnish (optional)

Method:

With sharp knife, cut the kernels from the corn cobs. Refrigerate kernels.

Place the stripped corn cobs in small stockpot and add the poultry stock, bayleaf, spices, and parmesan rind. Cover. Bring to a boil over medium heat then reduce heat to low and slowly cook mixture for about an hour. Strain mixture in fine wire mesh sieve. Discard cobs and solids.

While the stock is cooking, fry the bacon until crisp. Blot bacon on dry paper towel. When cool break into bite-sized pieces. Set aside for chowder garnish. Remove all but 1½ tablespoons of bacon fat from frypan.

Cut up onion, celery, carrot, and red pepper. Mince the garlic cloves. When stock is almost done cooking, melt butter in the frypan with the bacon fat over medium heat. When butter is melted, add the onions, celery, and carrot. Cook, stirring briskly, for 3-4 minutes then add the red pepper. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, until onion starts to become translucent and the vegetables are slightly softened. Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring continuously, for about 30 seconds, just until the garlic becomes fragrant.

Transfer the sautéed vegetables to a medium-sized stockpot. Add the corn kernels and diced potato. Stir in all of the strained stock except for ½ cup which will be used to mix with the cornstarch to thicken the chowder. Cover stockpot and bring mixture to a boil over high heat then reduce heat to medium low and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are just barely fork tender.

Whisk 2½ tbsp cornstarch into the reserved ½ cup of poultry stock until smooth. Add 2-3 tablespoons hot mixture from the stockpot to temper the cornstarch mixture then add the thickener into the stockpot, stirring until mixture starts to thicken.

Transfer approximately 3 cups of the mixture to a blender and purée until very smooth. Pour puréed mixture back into the stock pot. Stir to combine with remainder of unpuréed chowder mixture.

Stir in the maple syrup. Whisk sour cream into the 10% blend cream until blended. Slowly whisk the dairy into the stockpot mixture. Heat thoroughly. Add the cheeses and stir until melted and blended into the chowder. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Ladle chowder into bowls. Garnish with crisp bacon pieces and, if desired, fresh chopped chives or parsley. Serve with rolls or bread.

Yield: Apx. 6-8 servings

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Creamy Homestyle Corn Chowder

Thick, creamy, and hearty made-from-scratch Corn Chowder packed full of flavor. This rich chowder is comfort food at its finest! Serve with favorite rolls or bread.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Canadian
Keyword Corn, Corn Chowder, soup,
Servings 8
My Island Bistro Kitchen Barbara99

Ingredients

  • 3 cups corn kernels (apx. 3 – 4 large corn cobs)
  • 5 cups poultry stock (chicken or turkey)
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • ¼ tsp dried thyme
  • 1/8 tsp paprika
  • 1/8 tsp dried dill
  • 1/8 tsp dried summer savory
  • Pinch cayenne
  • Pinch curry powder
  • 2½ - 3" piece parmesan cheese rind (optional)
  • 4 slices bacon, fried crisp
  • 2-3 tbsp butter
  • 2/3 cup onion, diced small
  • ½ cup celery, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup carrot, diced small
  • ¼ cup red pepper, finely chopped
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ lb Yukon Gold or red potato, diced into ¼“ pieces
  • tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 cup 10% blend cream, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp sour cream, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsp finely grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh chives or parsley for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. With sharp knife, cut the kernels from the corn cobs. Refrigerate kernels.
  2. Place the stripped corn cobs in small stockpot and add the poultry stock, bayleaf, spices, and parmesan rind. Cover. Bring to a boil over medium heat then reduce heat to low and slowly cook mixture for about an hour. Strain mixture in fine wire mesh sieve. Discard cobs and solids.
  3. While the stock is cooking, fry the bacon until crisp. Blot bacon on dry paper towel. When cool break into bite-sized pieces. Set aside for chowder garnish. Remove all but 1½ tablespoons of bacon fat from frypan.
  4. Cut up onion, celery, carrot, and red pepper. Mince the garlic cloves. When stock is almost done cooking, melt butter in the frypan with the bacon fat over medium heat. When butter is melted, add the onions, celery, and carrot. Cook, stirring briskly, for 3-4 minutes then add the red pepper. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, until onion starts to become translucent and the vegetables are slightly softened. Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring continuously, for about 30 seconds, just until the garlic becomes fragrant.
  5. Transfer the sautéed vegetables to a medium-sized stockpot. Add the corn kernels and diced potato. Stir in all of the strained stock except for ½ cup which will be used to mix with the cornstarch to thicken the chowder. Cover stockpot and bring mixture to a boil over high heat then reduce heat to medium low and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are just barely fork tender.
  6. Whisk 2½ tbsp cornstarch into the reserved ½ cup of poultry stock until smooth. Add 2-3 tablespoons hot mixture from the stockpot to temper the cornstarch mixture then add the thickener into the stockpot, stirring until mixture starts to thicken.
  7. Transfer approximately 3 cups of the mixture to a blender and purée until very smooth. Pour puréed mixture back into the stock pot. Stir to combine with remainder of unpuréed chowder mixture.
  8. Stir in the maple syrup. Whisk sour cream into the 10% blend cream until blended. Slowly whisk the dairy into the stockpot mixture. Heat thoroughly. Add the cheeses and stir until melted and blended into the chowder. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  9. Ladle chowder into bowls. Garnish with crisp bacon pieces and, if desired, fresh chopped chives or parsley. Serve with rolls or bread.

Recipe Notes

Yield: Apx. 6-8 servings

 

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Small gray casserole filled with homemade Corn Chowder garnished with bacon pieces

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