Monday, February 25, 2013

Corn and Cheese Chowder

A few weeks ago, I was looking for something to make for my nephew, Daniel. I just wanted to make him something warm and comforting. Then I saw Ree Drummond making this soup on her show, Pioneer Woman, and decided that this was just the thing. I had half of the ingredients anyway, and a quick trip to the store took care of the rest. In no time at all, I had a delicious soup simmering on the stove, and I brought it right over to him. It was like a big hug in a pot, warm and cozy, and I know he appreciated it. Any time, Daniel Boone!
 This recipe isn't exactly Ree Drummond's. I changed a few things here and there, and everyone loved it. So add this one to your repertoire. It's the perfect thing if you're cooking for a bunch of weary workers just in from the cold, or if someone needs a warm hug.
Hope you like it!

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1 whole onion, chopped
4 slices thick cut bacon, cut into pieces
1 small green bell pepper, finely diced 
1 small red bell pepper, finely diced
1 (1 lb) bag frozen corn
1 can creamed corn
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken stock or broth
2 cups half-and-half
1 heaping cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
3 green onions, sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the bacon and cook until lightly crispy, and then add the bell peppers and the corn and cook for a few more minutes until the vegetables are soft.
Sprinkle the flour evenly over the top and stir to combine. Pour in the chicken stock and stir well. Allow this to thicken for 3 or 4 minutes, and then reduce the heat to low. Stir in the half-and-half, and then cover and allow to simmer and thicken for 15 minutes or so.
Stir in the cheese and green onions. When the cheese is melted and the soup is hot, check seasonings. Add salt and pepper as needed.

If your peppers are quite large, I would just do half of each color. Normally I would just add them in, but I think the flavor of the peppers would compete with the flavor of the corn, and I like for the corn to be the star of the show.
Be sure to simmer it over a low heat and stir it often. You don't want it to burn on the bottom of the pot.
If you'd like to add more cheese, go ahead and add as much as you like!
Feel free to serve this in hollowed out round loaves of bread, if the spirit so moves you!

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