Tuesday, January 20, 2009

More Comfort Food

I'm cold. Even after spending the weekend in Florida in relative warmth (a cold spell for them), I'm still cold. This January in Kentucky has been cold. Now I love snow and don't even mind the cold too much, but right now I'm shivering and wishing I was back on the 60 degree Florida beach.

Ina Garten's Cheddar Corn Chowder is one of my favorites anytime, but especially on a day like today when the only hope of warmth is from the inside out.

Cheddar Corn Chowder
The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook - Ina Garten

8 ounces bacon, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
6 cups chopped yellow onions (4 large onions)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric
12 cups chicken stock
6 cups medium-diced white boiling potatoes, unpeeled (2 pounds)
10 cups corn kernels, fresh (10 ears) or frozen (3 pounds)
2 cups half-and-half
1/2 pound sharp white Cheddar cheese grated

1. In a large stockpot on medium-high heat, cook the bacon and olive oil until the bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve.
2. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions and butter to the fat, and cook for 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent.
3. Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, and turmeric and cook for 3 minutes.
4. Add the chicken stock and potatoes, bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
5. If using fresh corn, cut the kernels off the cobs and blanch the kernels for 3 minutes in boiling salted water. Drain. (If using frozen corn, you can skip this step.)
6. Add the corn to the soup, then add the half-and-half and Cheddar. Cook for 5 more minutes until the cheese is melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot with a garnish of bacon.

Note: I also use frozen corn, sometimes a mix of white and yellow, just depending on what I have or what is in the store. I have never used tumeric and also use regular Cheddar cheese.
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