Corn Chowder with Chorizo and ChilesFrom Cook's Country | June/July 2009
Why this recipe works:
We began our search for velvety Corn Chowder with Chorizo and Chiles and unambiguous corn flavor with fresh corn. For depth, we cooked the onions, chiles, cumin, and corn in the rendered chorizo fat. This technique intensified the cumin and added toasty, slightly caramelized flavors to the… read more
We began our search for velvety Corn Chowder with Chorizo and Chiles and unambiguous corn flavor with fresh corn. For depth, we cooked the onions, chiles, cumin, and corn in the rendered chorizo fat. This technique intensified the cumin and added toasty, slightly caramelized flavors to the corn and by extension, the chowder.
Tasters preferred red potatoes in the chowder, which retained their shape and added a pretty gleam of pink. To thicken the chowder and intensify flavor, instead of a traditional flour and butter roux, we pureed canned corn with some chicken broth. This produced a golden, satiny chowder base with a vibrant fresh corn taste.less
Serves 6 to 8
Be sure to save the cobs for the chowder.
- 6 ears corn
- 2 (15-ounce) cans whole kernel corn
- 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 4 ounces chorizo sausage, finely chopped
- 1 - 2 jalapeño chiles, seeded and minced
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 onion, chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 1 pound red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1. PREP CORN Following associated image at left, cut kernels from ears of corn; reserve kernels and cobs separately. Puree canned corn and 2 cups broth in blender until smooth.
2. SAUTÉ VEGETABLES Cook chorizo in Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer chorizo to paper towel-lined plate and reserve. Cook onion, chiles, cumin, corn kernels, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper in same pan until vegetables are softened and golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes.
3. FINISH SOUP Add potatoes, corn puree, remaining broth, and reserved corn cobs to Dutch oven and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Discard cobs and stir in cream, cilantro, and reserved chorizo. Season with salt and pepper. Serve. (Soup can be refrigerated in airtight container for 3 days.)
Cutting kernels from corn can be an awkward task. Here's how to steady the cob and keep the kernels from flying around the kitchen, all while maneuvering a sharp knife.
The Right Corn for the Job
Corn chowder is usually thickened with a paste of flour and butter, but we hoped the corn itself might do double duty as thickener and flavor booster. We tested every corn product we could think of, including kernels in all forms (except popcorn). The answer took us by surprise.