Thursday, January 5, 2012

Southern Corn Chowder - Style BluePrint

Every time I think of corn chowder I can't help but think of the line from the movie, The Devil Wears Prada, when Anne Hathaway is new to her job and getting lunch when Stanley Tucci comes up behind her in the lunch line and informs her that one of the key ingredients in chowder is it bad that not even this is a deterrent from this most amazing comfort food???  I don't have it often so that is my justification for splurging every now and then.  I recently came across several recipes for corn chowder and decided to hit somewhere between The Pioneer Woman's recipe which called for a little more heavy cream than my post-New Year's diet was prepared for and the Cooking Light recipe which I was sure wasn't going to completely satiate my craving (though in fairness I am more often than not pleasantly surprised with the flavorful goodness produced from their recipes).  I decided on a recipe I came across when reading one of my favorite blogs, StyleBlueprint.  I gathered my groceries, called some friends to help me eat up all this goodness and hollowed out the bread bowls.  It was the perfect remedy to the cold nights we have endured lately!
Southern Corn Chowder
Adapted from and 
originally from Heart & Soul, a cookbook from the Junior League of Memphis.

1 pound of bacon
1 large onion, chopped
8-10 ears of fresh corn, or 1 bag of frozen whole kernel corn (about 16 oz. but because I wanted lots of corn I used a 2 lb. bag)
4 cups of chicken broth
2 medium yukon gold potatoes, cubed
1-2 carrots, either chopped or shredded
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups light cream
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
3-4 dashes of hot sauce

Cook bacon until crisp. Drain, reserving drippings. Crumble bacon and set aside. In a 6 quart Dutch oven or pot, cook onion in 3 T. of the bacon drippings. Drain.
If using fresh corn, use a sharp knife and slice just the kernel off the tops of the ears, then scrape with a dull knife. Add the corn, chicken broth, potato, and carrot to the onion in the Dutch oven. Bring to a boil, about 10 minutes until the potato is tender.

For roux, pour enough of the bacon drippings into a 10- inch skillet to reach ¼ inch. Stir in flour until smooth. Note: I only had a half of a pound of bacon so I didn't have enough drippings so I used butter.  The key to a roux is making sure you use 1 part shortening/butter to 1 part flour so with 1/4 cup of butter I used 1/4 a cup of flour.
Cook and stir over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until roux is light brown.
Add milk and cream to vegetables in Dutch oven. 

Heat through (this is key to the roux’s success). 
Stir in lemon juice, hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper. 
Whisk the roux into vegetable mixture. Stir in the crumbled bacon. 
Simmer until thickened and heated through.
For best results, serve in a bread bowl....

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