Sunday, June 21, 2009

Bacon Corn Potato Chowder

I have become a good cook! Foods I create come out edible! Of course, I feel like this every time I make a success . . . but the success rate is really about 50/50. Last time I cooked, I created a roasted eggplant/hummus/yogurt/sesameoil/oliveoil salt monstrosity that lacked in taste, texture, color, and every possible scale of food meritocracy. Good thing I made it on the same night as the seared alaskan sea scallops with seashell pasta.

Anyway, this time, I made a winner. Sometimes, a disregard for all the fancy spices and flavor enhancers actually detract from the heady natural flavors of fresh produce. Corn chowder has always been one of my favorite things to eat. It was actually the very first thing I ever cooked all by myself. I was about ten and I think I used the JOy of Cooking book. I had to walk to the store and ask my mother for money. Those were interesting days.

The success of this chowder comes from the enormous amount of fresh vegetables, and the enormous amount of thick sliced, slow-fried, crispy bacon. I used an entire pack of bacon, minus 4 slices that were mysteriously eaten beforehand....

You also have to give credit to the dubiously large amount of onions. When I added them, my big ole soup pot was literally half full of onions and bacon. But never fear, little dears. I drained the bacon fat before getting dirty with my chowder. If I ate this in a restaurant, I would have no qualms about licking the bowl.

1 pack of bacon
1 big russet potato, cubed
1 red potato, cubed
1 jumbo-sized onion (the size of 2 normal), chopped
1/2 bunch celery (about 7 stalks? including the heart?), sliced/chopped
1 can creamed corn
8 mini bell peppers, diced (about 1 cup)
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
organic chicken broth to cover, about 3-4 cups
1 cup whole milk
plain yogurt for garnish
cheddar cheese for topping
garlic salt, cayenne, and black pepper

  1. With scissors, cut the bacon into strips (1/2") into a big fat soup pot. Turn on medium heat. Let sizzle until crispy, draining liquid when it gathers. I drained it twice. Bacon should be carmelized and crisp crisp.
  2. Add onions. Stir occassionally and let cook. Add celery, potato, bell peppers. Let them get about halfway done. Then add corn and broth to just cover ingredients. Simmer or boil until potatoes are done. Turn off heat. Add parsley, pepper, garlic salt to taste, and milk. Stir. Serve with shredded cheese and/or yogurt. I eat it with both.

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