This is a wonderful winter chowder, warming and hearty to chase away the cold winter blues. It uses readily available winter ingredients- potatoes, onions, garlic and carrots, along with some frozen corn. Homegrown frozen sweet corn will be the best, but a good quality frozen sweet corn will work.
I use this as a starting base for experimentation and new directions. This is perfectly delicious, however, just as it is! Lobster, crab or shrimp makes this an excellent seafood chowder. Fresh sausage gives a completely new flavor, especially if it is spicy or smoked. Smoked pork works magic as well. Use your imagination and unique, local ingredients to shape this into a new regional specialty in your area!
Corn and Potato Chowder
Sea Salt, to taste
1 Stalk celery, chopped coarsley
1 Medium carrot, chopped coarsley
1 Sprig fresh parsley, can use dried
1 Bay leaf
5 Black peppercorns
1/4 Lb. salt pork, or smoked pork
3 Medium yellow onions, peeled and diced
3 Cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 1/2 Lbs. unpeeled red potatoes, cut into 1/2″ cubes.
4 Cups corn kernels- (about 6 ears worth)
3 Cups half and half
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. Chicken base- Better Than Bouillon is a great brand
10 Cups water
In a large, heavy stockpot (preferably cast iron) heat the water and mix chicken base. Once simmering, add celery, carrots, parsley, bay leaf and peppercorns. Cover and simmer over low heat for 1 1/2 hours, then increase heat to medium until stock is reduced to about 6 cups, about 10-15 minutes. If using seafood, cook in stock base now, only til just tender and remove for later.
Cook salt pork or sausage in separate heavy pan over medium low heat until crisp, about 20 minutes. Remove, drain and slice. Add to stockpot. In same pan, saute onions and garlic until soft and browned.
Add to stockpot along with potatoes and corn. Simmer on medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in half and half, cayenne and return to simmer. If using seafood, add now and heat through, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and serve hot.
Please let us know how you like it, and what adaptations you make!