18 August 2008

Why Cayenne Pepper is Entertaining: A Memoir on Corn Chowder

Colby is funny, but more on that later. After perusing enough tastespotting, I've been itching to make some sort of soup. I found one recipe that seemed promising, mostly because it didn't require a stick blender.

Corn Chowder a la Julie
3 tbs butter
3 tbs olive oil
1 carrot, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 small tomato, deseeded and chopped
1/4 sweet onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 baking potato, cubed into 1 cm pieces
celery leaves, chopped
1 c chicken stock
4 ears corn
1 c cream
cayenne pepper

Melt O.O. and butter in a stock pot. Add in onions, celery, carrots, garlic, potato and s+p to taste. Let cook for ~10 minutes, until the onions turn translucent and everything begins to soften. Husk the corn. Take a large bowl and place the corn in the center, cutting parallel to the body in a swift, downward motion to take off the kernels. You'll probably have to flip it upside down because it'll probably be too hard to get all the way down. Once you're done, take the cob and run the back of your knife down where the kernels used to be and get all of the "corn juice" out. Take one of the cobs and divide it into thirds (I just did it by hand). Add in the corn, tomato, and chicken stock. Also, add the corn cob bits. Take this up to a boil and let cook for another 5-10 minutes. Add in the stock and then whatever herbs/spices you want. I used ~1 tsp of Old Bay, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 tsp dried basil, 1 tsp dried parsley and let's say 2 tbs of celery leaves, chopped fine. Let it simmer for awhile until the flavors start to blend.

So about celery leaves: Colby and I were discussing whether or not to get celery. I decided to make the soup at about 10:30 PM last night (and by "last night", I mean 3.5 hours ago, but *technically* it was last night) standing in front of the produce section at H.E.B. the local friendly megamarket. I have always felt that celery smells wonderful, but tastes disappointing, since all of that wonderful scent is coming from the leaves. According to Rayray and Alton, celery is related to cilantro or parsley or something that's aromatic and herb-y so I took all the leaves from the celery bunch and treated it just like a fresh herb. I felt all thrifty and creative. Small victories. Anywho, it actually turned out wonderful. I'm guessing that as long as you have the celery leaves, s+p, and like cayenne pepper, the taste will still be wonderful.

So during the making of the soup, Colby started making a pork roast. We're apparently impulse cookers. How cute. He was in the kitchen and standing by the sink and I had just dumped the cayenne pepper into the soup and I wanted to clean off the spoon to use it to taste with, but I wasn't about to eat a mouthful of cayenne with the soup. While my back was turned, Colby put the spoon in his mouth, not really knowing what it was and then turned around to me and told me that "the stuff on the spoon" was hot. Tee hee.


Nancy said...

Julie how did you like the corn soup?

jkru said...

I actually thought it was wonderful. I'm kind of surprised because I've never really made a soup that didn't come from a can or styrafoam cup before.

Nancy said...

Well stay tuned for more soups at dishingup! talk soon!!!