Wow, that's a mouthful! And it really was. And a tummyful, too. A very happy tummyful. When I read the recipe inspiration, I knew I didn't want to stick with the original. Not that the original didn't sound good (we wouldn't have picked it at all if it didn't), it's just that as I read it, the word chipotle started chirping in the back of my head like Jiminy Cricket.
And since it's bad luck to Ignore a Cricket,* I figured I'd better go with it. And since The Beloved often has an annoying habit of requiring some type of meat at dinner, I figured that chorizo was an excellent bet. And then, I thought that it would probably be a Good Idea to fry some of the corn in the chorizo oil. Because why wouldn't you?
With that settled, I wandered off to the store yesterday (after much delay involving a dead car in the garage and Robyn the AAA dude coming to my rescue) to Purchase Items. And that's when I decided that a bit of avocado mixed in with the fried corn would make a lovely garnish. So, I grabbed One along with a couple of limes, remembered to pay and then Returned to Base Camp to eat bonbons and Recline on the Divan until I bestirred myself at 4:45 to make Chow-dah.
I will say that this chowder took a bit of time to make--about 1 1/2 hours, to be exact. Ish. But that was partly because I was making it up as I went along and didn't really (okay, at all) have my mise en place together. Here are the futzy bits so if you'd like to make Exactly This Chowder, you'll know what you're getting into:
- A day or two before, make corn stock with a bunch of cobs that you have been saving in the freezer. Keep it simple with a bit of onion, 15-20 peppercorns and a couple of dried chiles. Just cover the cobs with cold water, bring it up to a boil, and simmer for a couple of hours. Strain, cool and refrigerate.
- Cook and crumble the chorizo.
- Fry a few handfuls of corn in the oil and set aside.
- If you have any chorizo oil left after frying the corn, use it to cook the onions and chiles. If not, use bacon grease that you keep in a container in the fridge. If you don't have one of those, just use whatever neutral oil you have. Ooooh, I bet the oil from oil packed sundried tomatoes would be fantastic...
- Make the salsa: fried corn, diced avocado, diced onion, minced jalapeno (or chile of your choice), salt, pepper and lime juice. That's it. No measuring. Just make it. It's liberating.
Now that you know what you're getting into, let's get started.
- 1 ear of corn, stripped off the cob
- 2 Tablespoons chorizo oil (left from cooking the chorizo)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 3 links fresh chorizo, out of their casings
- 2 Tablespoons bacon grease or vegetable oil (if you don't have enough chorizo oil)
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 serrano chiles, seeded and diced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
- 5 ears of corn, stripped off their cobs
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1-2 teaspoons of cumin, to taste
- 3 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
- 1½ pounds white potatoes, peeled and diced (I had small white potatoes, and I used 7. Honestly, just keep adding potatoes to the pot until you like what you see)
- 2 cups corn stock (or more if you want soupier soup)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce along with about 2 teaspoons of the sauce
- The fried corn
- sweet onion, small dice
- 1 avocado, small dice
- 1 minced chile of choice: jalapeno, serrano or hotter. Or milder
- salt and pepper, to taste
- lime juice, to taste. I think I juiced 2 small limes for this
- Fresh cilantro, optional but lovely, either in the salsa or just sprinkled on the finished dish.
- In the same pan you fried the chorizo in, add the corn and salt and pepper, to taste.
- Fry over medium heat until the corn takes on some lovely color. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
- Spread out on a paper towel to cool.
- In a medium skillet, brown the chorizo over medium heat.
- Crumble and set aside, reserving the oil for frying the corn.
- Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat.
- Add any chorizo oil you have left plus enough bacon fat or vegetable oil to equal about 2 Tablespoons. I used straight bacon fat since I didn't have any leftover chorizo oil.
- Add the onion and chiles to the pot and cook until you get some nice color on the onions. Not too dark; just golden brown.
- Add the corn, about a teaspoon of salt and some freshly ground pepper, cumin, tomatoes and potatoes.
- Stir around for a minute or two, and then add the corn stock.
- Turn the heat down and cover the pot. Simmer until the potatoes are tender.
- Puree the chipotle and adobo sauce with the heavy cream. I used a blender. This will only take about 4 seconds, so don't get crazy and end up with chipotle butter.
- Pour/scoop (if you ended up with whipped cream, you'll need to scoop it. I did) the chipotle cream into the pot.
- Simmer, uncovered, for about five minutes to reduce slightly.
- Add the crumbled chorizo and simmer for about 5 minutes more.
- Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
- Ladle into bowls and top with about 2 Tablespoons of the fried corn salsa.
- If you didn't add the cilantro to the salsa, or even if you did, sprinkle a bit more over each bowl.
- Combine all the ingredients and stir gently but thoroughly.
- Taste and adjust seasonings, adding a bit more salt, pepper and/or lime juice, as necessary. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
If you also played along, please leave your link in the comments or over on the facebook page, and I will be sure to add you to the round up.
Enjoy, and stay tuned for the next recipe inspiration coming next Tuesday, August 28. Thanks so much for reading, and I hope you have a lovely day.
*In the spirit of Full Disclosure, I have no idea whether it is bad luck to ignore a cricket. I blatantly Made That Up.