fig. a: corn
Good God, it has been a while, hasn't it?
I'd give you the full story, but there isn't much time. If you're going to make this chowder before Quebec's corn season comes to an end, you're gonna have to hop to it.
fig. b: corn chowder
AEB Corn Chowder
4 ears fresh corn, shucked
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup salt pork (rind removed), diced
1 red onion, peeled and diced
1/2 red bell pepper (or some other mild to medium-hot capsicum), diced
1 stalk celery, diced
4 red potatoes, scrubbed and chopped into 1/2" cubes
2 cups whole milk
ground hot red pepper
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Using a sharp knife, cut the kernels from the cobs of corn, then use the back of the knife to scrape down the sides of the cobs to remove as much pulp and juice as possible. Break the scraped cobs in two and simmer the halves in a pot with three cups of water and the teaspoon of salt for twenty minutes.
Melt the tablespoon of butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the salt pork and sauté until the pieces begin to turn crisp at the edges. Add the onion and sauté until it begins to turn translucent. Add the bell pepper and the celery and sauté until the onions are fully translucent and the bell pepper and celery are firm-tender.
Remove the cobs of corn from the water and discard. Replace them with the potatoes and simmer them for 15 minutes, or until they are just tender. Add the contents of the skillet, the corn kernels and any reserved pulp and/or juice, and the milk. Taste for seasoning, adding salt as needed, and grind in plenty of black pepper. Add a little hot red pepper (we used a combination of smoked hot paprika and our own blend of chili powder) and heat the chowder through, just long enough for the corn to cook, about 5-10 minutes. Serve immediately.
The broth is sweet and delicate, the mingling of flavors sublime. Few dishes do justice to farm-fresh corn the way a real corn chowder does. Few things taste as good at this time of year, when the days are still warm but the evenings are nice and cool.