It’s the End of The World As We Know It, And I Feel Like Comfort Food

So, we’ve reached the end of the world… again. With such a traumatic event coming I feel it only fitting that we end it on a good note — with comfort food. Soup, crusty bread and cookies seem like a fitting end to me. We’re short on time, so let’s just get to the cooking:

 

Poblano Corn Chowder w/ Smoked Sausage

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1 lb. smoked sausage, diced 1/4″-1/2″
2 c milk
1-1/2 c water
1/2 large Spanish Onion, diced 1/4″ (about 1 c)
4 yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced 1/4″ (about 3 c)
4 c cold water
6 ears corn or 4 c frozen corn
3 poblanos, diced 1/4″ (about 1-1/2 c)
1 T kosher salt
1 T paprika (smoked or sweet)
1 T italian seasoning herbs
2 T all-purpose flour
2 T potato flour (or all-purpose flour)
1/3 c fresh cilantro, minced (optional)
shredded sharp cheddar cheese (optional)

 

NOTE: Put diced potatoes in the 4 cups of cold water to prevent them from changing color until you are ready to add them to the soup.

Cut the corn kernels off the cobs and cut the cobs into thirds. Blanch the corn kernels. If you are using frozen corn you can skip the blanching.

  • Blanch the Corn Kernels: Prepare a large bowl of ice water (only fill about half way). Fill a large pot about half way up with water and set on the stove on high heat (if you have a pasta insert that would make this much easier). When the water is boiling, add a large handful of salt (about 2-3 T). Add the corn kernels. After about three minutes the water will start boiling again and the kernels will look bright yellow. Remove the kernels from the boiling water (using either a slotted spoon or the pasta pot insert) and dunk into the ice water to stop the corn from cooking and cool it down. After about 1-1/2 minutes, remove the corn from the cold water and set aside. Discard the water in the pot and the bowl.

If using corn ears: cut each corn cob into three pieces.

In a 2 qt. saucepan, add the 2 c milk and 1-1/2 c water. Add corn cob pieces (if using) and warm milk on medium-low heat for 20 minutes.

Add the smoked sausage to a large (4 qt) soup pot. Turn the heat to medium-low and render the fat slowly.

  • Render the Sausage Fat: You’ll want to do this slowly so you get rid of most of the fat. Move the sausage around the pan so all sides of the diced sausage comes in contact with the pan. The idea is to make sure the fond (stuff stuck to the bottom of the pan) stays brown and doesn’t get “blackened.” So, after about 10-15 minutes when you see a layer of fat in the bottom of the pan, set a strainer over a bowl and drain the oil from the sausage so the fond can stick to the pan. Add the sausage back to the pan and continue rendering the fat. Discard the oil from the first rendering. When the bottom of the pan is covered in the browned fond, drain through the strainer and set the sausage aside.

Raise the heat to medium and add diced onions, poblanos and potatoes to the pot. Add 1 tsp salt.

Add the 3 cups of water to the milk/water/corn cob pot.

Move the vegetables around the pan with a spatula. Use the spatula to scrape the fond off the bottom of the pot as the liquid from the vegetables helps loosen it.

When the vegetables have given off all their liquid and start sticking to the bottom of the pot (about 10 minutes or more depending on the vegetables), add the smoked paprika, italian seasoning herbs and flour. Stir everything for about two minutes to make sure the flour is cooked.

Add the corn kernels and stir to combine.

If there is a skin on the warm milk/water mixture, remove it. Add the warm milk & water mixture (and corn cobs if using) to the vegetables.

Add the sausage and let cook covered for 10 minutes.

Test the corn and potatoes for doneness.

Taste for salt and pepper.

Serve with toasted (rosemary-olive oil) bread. Put minced cilantro & cheddar cheese in bowls on the table to allow people to add to their own taste.

 

 

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